The caregivers explained that the children have either been abandoned by their families or have been taken out of abusive situations. They are brought to the home before being adopted or placed in orphanages.
Most of the kids pass through Our Lady of the Wayside, staying only a few months before they are settled into a more permanent situation, but one young boy with cerebral palsy has lived in the home for four years. “He has nowhere to go,” said one caregiver, explaining that on the island there is no orphanage or family prepared to receive him and care for his special needs.
The crewmembers were happy to spend time holding the little boy with cerebral palsy and playing with the other kids in the care home. They helped the children to build cardboard models of the ship and showed them where their countries are located on a world map. The volunteers explained that when they came on board Logos Hope for the first time as crewmembers, they passed through a tunnel of flags. Holding up their own flags, the crewmembers had the children run through the tunnel to pretend they were joining the ship.
“I loved interacting with the children,” said Amelia Vine (UK), who works full-time with children as a teacher in Logos Hope’s onboard school. Another team member was pleased with the children’s eagerness to teach the volunteers something new, saying, “I loved when they taught us songs and sang us their national anthem!”
In addition to entertaining the children, the volunteers helped practically by repainting many of the home’s interior doors. After hours of laughter and fun, it was hard to say, ‘goodbye,’ but crewmembers know the kids are in loving, capable hands.
Credit: Rebecca Gaasrud · © 2017 OM International