A new team of short-term volunteers arrived at the Hub in South Africa in February this year. Armed with compassion, humility and an open mind, they embarked on a four-day community stay to conclude their orientation programme.
The team of six returned with a sparkle in the eye and many stories: some humorous, some sad, some hopeful.
Tommy, from England, and Jon, a Canadian, spent their weekend with Silo Ngobeni in Clau Clau, a semi-rural settlement in the north-eastern province of Mpumalanga.
20-year-old Silo is only in grade 11. Since his mother died in 2008, he has been living alone in a one-room, make-shift house. On first impression life doesn’t seem too bad. Silo seems to have all the essentials: food, clothing, water, a bed, even electricity.
As the weekend unfolded, though, it became obvious that Silo is a very lonely young man. He told Tommy and Jon that often he doesn’t have anything substantial to eat for as long as a week on end. Despite the hardship, however, Silo is determined not to revert to crime. Instead he looks to God for help.
Silo wrote two short stories that he has agreed to share: