The heroes of this part of the world are the grandmothers. Full stop. The stories of grannies taking care of the children left behind after the death of parents abound.
Today, we met Mabula, the grandmother of a St. Brendan’s student. She welcomed her three grandchildren into her home after the deaths of both her daughter and son-in-law. She cannot read or write but is determined to give her grandchildren opportunities for an education.
She enrolled her eldest granddaughter, Lefono, in St. Brendan’s last year.
Granny worked and saved and went without in order pay all the school and boarding fees for 2019 and managed to pay for the first quarter of 2020. But she realized that she will never be able to pay for Term 2 by the due date in April.
So, this old grandmother traveled several hours by bus and foot to come to St. Brendan’s to see if there was anyone who could assist in keeping Lefono in school.
It was only through a strange set of circumstances and an active grapevine that we ended up in a room with granny, Lefono and the school office manager, Salva, who acted as interpreter.
After hearing her story, we agreed to pay Term 2 fees for the granddaughter and continue to work on a plan for further assistance. Ash Wednesday seemed like a good day to give just a little more. And to who better than one of the many amazing grannies that we’ve met.
Here are some of our favorite hero grandmothers.