Like Home

Author: 
Steven Leeflang
Date: 
Tuesday, March 24, 2015

During the evenings at the Children’s Book Festival, many visitors came by the ACT booth to buy books and arts and crafts and to learn more about our programs. Among these visitors was a group from the Maria Boarding School—an institution that serves indigenous students who have recently arrived in the capital city from villages in South Suriname. These young people come to the capital to further their studies, because this opportunity does not exist in their villages.

Angela and Andrea recognize themselves on the ACT banner. Click to enlarge

Among these visitors were two girls—Andrea and Angela—who hailed from one of ACT’s partner communities. When they arrived at ACT’s booth, the girls became instantly nostalgic. The indigenous tools, crafts and hut reminded them of their home. While looking around, they suddenly became excited. They recognized their younger selves in a photo on ACT’s banner!

Andrea and Angela called out to several nearby schoolmates.

“Look!” said Angela, pointing to the banner. “This is me, and this is the traditional school. I still remember how beautiful it was. I miss it.”

Staring at the banner, the girls could hardly believe it was their friend. They laughed and told stories.

After a little while, the group’s tour guide announced it was time to move on, and the students turned sadly away. Still, one girl stayed—too lonesome for her village to leave the photos. As the tour guide called out once more for her, we wished her good luck and told her to have courage. We understand what she misses.

Dutch version can be read on the ACT Suriname website.