Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Who's the Role Model Now?

"Some of you may not know this, but I have achieved two first for Veronica's Story Foundation during my time here in South Africa. It's the first time the organization has sent over a volunteer without a member escorting them and I am also the first solo male volunteer. I am proud of both "firsts". Oh, but wait - there is one more - I am also the first male volunteer for Baby Haven and for Child Haven. I guess all three facilities too a risk and perhaps I did too, but I think it has been a great experience all the way around. Most importantly, it's had a positive effect on the children. If you think about it, these children rarely get the opportunity to engage with positive men in their lives. Often times the only men they have encountered, have left them emotionally and physically scarred.

They have called me a "trail blazer" here and I have come to really embrace the title and that role. These children need to see - to know - that men can be loving and can genuinely care about them without exploitation. And, the young boys need to witness what it's like to be a positive man.

I was always told by my [adoptive] father that a man's word is all you have, so "do what you say". He taught me that you'll be judged by your actions in life. I was lucky to have a man help guide me down the right path, and still it was hard at times. I can only imagine what it must be like for young boys who don't have any real male role models.

So now, it is my job to take what I have learned and use it to gently push these young boys and girls too, down the right path. It has become my job, to help show them that everything that they desire in life can be obtained, as long as they try.
"Don't let anyone in this world steal your joy," I explained to one young boy the other day."

"I can't is NOT a word," I told him, as the little boy told me of his dream to become a South African police officer. When I asked him why he had this goal he said, "Uncle Sydney, I just want to help people."

So, who's the role model now?

1 comment:

  1. Awe that was great ! I bet you are excited to see everyone ! I wish you a warm and welcome homecoming. I am continuing to keep you in all my prayers. Wow, I bet you got some great stories to share. You are such an inspiration to everyone around you. May the good Lord live forever in your heart!