2016-10-20-12-16-17“What I have learned in life is that you can be rich as you like, but if ever you don’t have love, you won’t survive.  With the love of my grandmother and the FXB After School Program, I am the survivor. ”

—Christine

12 years old, South Africa

I’m Christine Mazibuko*, doing grade 5 at Ditau Primary School in South Africa.  I grew up in a family of 6 people: my grandmother, my mother, my younger sister, my two younger brothers and, of course, me.

My family had been suffering because nobody was working. We totally depended on my grandmother’s pension. She had to provide for all the children in the family and look after my very sick, bedridden mother.

This year, I joined FXB’s After School program. FXB gives us food parcels, clothes, stationery and organizes counseling sessions when we are not feeling good.  Sister) Sonto from FXB is like a mother to us.

This year was really not easy for me, because I lost my mother toAIDS. After she passed away, FXB helped my family hold a funeral. Even my school teachers were there. Sister Sonto gave us counseling after the funeral. She even gave my grandmother money to buy us a loaf of bread every day.

For me, it was my first time to receive this kind of love. I knew that I was not alone in life. This feeling gave me the courage to always respect and love people.”

*We do not use the girl’s real name or show her face in the photos. Since her mother died of AIDS this year, her family prefers to keep her identity confidential for her protection.