This morning as my two girls were fighting over a Nintendo DS game, I was reading a heart-breaking story about Rabab, a little girl aged four and her twin brother who spend their summers working at a brick-making factory in Narwan, southern Iraq. You can see the story here. http://www.thenational.ae/article/20080816/FOREIGN/854404655/1001
These children are younger than Leonardo, but as the journalist points out, Rabab has difficulty “holding a smile”. She has practically lost the will to live. She is destitute, hungry, desperate and will probably spend the rest of her life making bricks. The difference between the lives of my children and Rabab’s is just too distressing to imagine. This girl has no hope that her future will be any better than her present, she has never been to school, her life is unbearably tough and her main battle each day is to find enough water to drink in the searing heat and dust.
So while my children worry about who is playing with the Magic Mario game on a toy that is most certainly worth more than Rabab earns in two years in horrendous conditions, she focuses on not dying of thirst.
Maybe this should make me feel proud, make me happy that I am able to give my children such a nice life. But it doesn’t. It makes me feel like a failure. And like adopting Rabab, along with her entire family.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2008