Copyright (c) 2008 Wendy Tendys
The desperation cry is for the most part unheard. Now, you can read it as a desperate mother writes to her daughter.You can answer that cry.
Please don’t be sad that you have no money to buy me a Mother’s Day gift. I know how much you wanted to get me that lovely bright coloured scarf.
You can give me a Mother’s Day gift that is priceless. A gift no money can buy.
Sueane, you know I have dreams for you. I long for you to have more in life than I did as a girl. It won’t be easy for you to achieve this, but I want you to promise me that you will give it all your energy.
I don’t want you to spend the rest of your life in the village. I don’t want you to live in fear of your husband beating you up, after he has been drinking beer and kava. I don’t want you to be sold to some old man who’s wife has just died.
Sueane, you are a good girl. I want you to be able to hold your head high and know that you can achieve anything you want to.
I have worked hard all these years. I have tended the vegetable garden to put food in the tummies of the village. I have cared for the family bungalow and kept it clean and tidy.
Before you went to help your aunty with the new baby, you helped me roll out the sleeping mats, kept the fire burning and stirred the pots to feed the mouths before dark. You never complained when you had to go to the next village, once in a blue moon, to bring back water when our supply dried up.
You have learned well from the primary school teacher. If I can find the school fees, you can take one more step forward.
I will continue to sew every minute of the day I can. I heard the chief talking to your father last week. They say there is a tourist ship coming to our tropical islands soon, through some travel specials deal. I will take the dresses to the local market and bring home the small amounts of cash. I will hide most of it away carefully for some of your school fees, so your father can’t spend it on kava.
Sueane, Harris Arrop, the Mota Lava area secretary, told us of an organisation helping kids like you go to high school. YouMe Support Foundation already helps the village school. Remember when Mr Ricki brought those boxes with pens and paper, books and scissors. Remember those special gifts that came off the boat after the cyclone. When the cyclone came they send us rice and yams when no one else listened to our cry for help.
Sueane, through them you will have the chance to become a teacher like you dream of. Your education can make a difference to the entire family. You can make a difference in our village. You are not condemned to walk the walk I have. Only one or two of the villagers can read and write. Perhaps you could teach me to read and write. I would like that.
High school will take you away from our village, to Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila. I know you will be scared as you will have to leave the security of our village family. You will have to struggle with a lot of new experiences, but you are a strong girl.
I have met the people who will be looking after you from YouMe Support Foundation. They are good people Sueane.
Daughter, there are people out there that care about us and want to help us. We must show them that we will take the opportunities offered to help with your education. Daughter, I want you to be part of this program. This is all I ask for a Mother’s Day gift.
Love Your mother
Hundreds of children are subjected to this horrible injustice – no opportunity for a high school education. Children who are high achieving students in their primary classes.
The developing nation of Vanuatu needs these children if it is to take its rightful place in the International Community. You can help make a small difference in these kid’s lives.
Become a ‘Friend Educating Kids’ and help more of the daughters of the north of Vanuatu, achieve their dreams and move into the 21st century.
You can become a friend to these kids. Touch base with them, follow their progress, encourage them. Your ‘Special Mother’s Day Gift’ can help these kids.’