I was pensive about the notion of family yesterday, reminded of my own childhood by the above photo. As a result of this, I wanted to put together this little thought piece on family, equality and what the notion of a familial bond means in two very different cultures.
Average childs perspective – Family in the South of England in 2016:
F is for fighting over who is logged into the shared Netflix account and what is watched on the 32″ TV.
A is for ‘Aaah!’, the sound we make when the NHS doctor asks us to open our mouth. The waiting list is long, but at least I get my teeth seen.
M is for ‘Mmmm’, the sound we all make when we have our weekly takeaway treat. We aren’t rich, but a treat every now and again is ok.
I is for ill, something I like to pretend I am every now and again to get a day off school.
L is for Literacy, I find it boring in school but at least I know how to read and write.
Y is for years, many many years that I think I will live.
Average childs perspective – Family in the East of Congo in 2016:
F is for food. We don’t have much and my mum is not well because she makes sure that I eat enough. This makes me feel guilty, I don’t want mum to die.
A is for anaemia. Having anaemia is normal, half my friends have it.
M is for military, it’s hard to tell who are the goodies when you don’t really understand who is fighting for what; I can tell you they are really scary though. Living in the east of Congo is hard, but we can’t afford to relocate.
I is for ill, something that I regularly am and stops me from going to school.
L is for looting, we did try and move west once but it didn’t work out and when we got home our whole house had been looted. I think it was probably soldiers who did it, I’m not sure who’s side they were on or what they were fighting for.
Y is for years, I don’t think it’s likely I’ll live than many years. But I will try and live them happy.
(Photo – Eli Woodbine, Canada, 2016)