The look of witi

And this is the story of Witi and its evolution, the look that closes the exhibition and that marked me so much… I met her on the last outing we did to help children with functional diversities, 2 times a year we carry out a screening work in villages or areas of difficult access for 10 days to offer help to children with functional diversities. Witi came with her 22-year-old sister (and her two children, aged 6 years and a few months) and told us that she had speech problems and that’s why she didn’t go to school.

We found out that his arm was burned, to the point that he couldn’t stretch it by having it bent for so long, as the skin had become attached to it. They were carrying her with dirty clothes and the wounds were more than infected but what hurt me the most was that lack of affection. A lack of love that I can’t explain and an immeasurable desire to fill that void.

From that moment I knew that I would try to help her and I would come back to look for her and that’s how it was…

Before returning to Tanzania I imagined every day what it would be like to see Witi again, to be able to help him and give him a chance at some school for children with special needs. I thought I was going to arrive and go to meet her but it wasn’t like that… they asked me to wait for me, not to go alone but I just thought they didn’t want to go…

A month and a half later, and after more than one sit-in, we went to Miamba. A village in the middle of the Pare mountains, which you can not access with any vehicle and a journey of more than three hours. When we finally arrived everything seemed to indicate that we were not going to make it, the social worker did not seem very aware but he did a great job. Thanks to your help and to Witi’s photograph (marked in favorites, of course) we managed to find him. It was a lot of emotions to see those eyes again, to think that we could give him a chance for the future, etc.

But the story had changed since our first meeting. That time they told us that the parents were on vacation (it always seemed the most ironic thing in the world to me) but this time they told us that she lived alone with the mother who had no father… She was wandering around the village again with her older sister. Once again the expectations were back to their own, Sister Elizabeth talked to her mother on the phone, thanks to her sister facilitating the contact, and it seemed that she would take Witi to Mama Kevina Hope Centre but she never came… I’m still waiting.

But I have learned, even if I don’t understand it, to put myself in the place of her mother by not wanting to separate from her even if from my point of view she is not thinking about her future. I’ve learned that you can’t want to help someone if the other person doesn’t want to and we can’t pretend to think what’s best for others.

I have learned to have more patience, to take things as they come, to not be so gridded. I have learned to trust more, not to think that we are not rowing to the same side.

Still I don’t change that moment of seeing each other again for the world, thank you very much for teaching me so much Witi. I’ll always be here for you 🖤


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