Meet Thabo, the newest member of our Pulane Children’s Centre family.
Part of welcoming a child to PCC is giving him or her a Team Hope Shoebox, this one coming from County Wicklow. For several of our residents, including Thabo, their Team Hope box is the first gift of their lives.
Looking at him, there is little evidence that he is 2-years-old. Physically and developmentally he appears closer to 1-year-old. Thabo’s mother brought him to us a few weeks ago at the urging of community members who saw that she was not capable of caring for the child. The mother is mentally unwell and would often forget to feed the child, take him with her when she left the house, and administer medication for a chronic medical condition. We were happy to be able to offer help.
Mr. Thabo, as our local ladies call him, is adjusting to his new surroundings. He spends the mornings with our small group of preschoolers. For now, he just sits, hands in lap, observing with a melancholy gaze. He hasn’t had a chance to learn how to play with toys or other children until now, and he isn’t sure about it yet. He doesn’t speak. He doesn’t interact. He doesn’t smile. (We aren’t sure he knows how). He simply observes.
We aren’t sure what to expect from Thabo as he grows—what effect two years of neglect will have on his physical, mental, and emotional development. But we do know what Thabo can expect from his new PCC family: unconditional love, consistent medical care, solid nutrition, and the doting care of 65 brothers and sisters.
It is interesting to note that the name Thabo means “joy”. Our prayer is that he grows into his name during his time with us. We pray that he learns to smile and laugh. And we pray that his life will be a testimony that our God brings a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Isaiah 61:3