Privacy versus Promotionby Elaine Herbert on 02/07/18
In this day of instant images intended to pluck at the heart strings and encourage a generous and desperately needed influx of donations, it is often suggested that we tell the first hand story of one of our children accompanied by photos of the child. We have very real reasons for not doing so and we just have to hope and pray that the general story of loss for the children and our dependence on the kindness of strangers will enable our work to continue.
Children are placed at Mants'ase because they have been traumatised and while they are at Mants'ase we want our children to feel secure in their surroundings. If they don't feel secure, they don't thrive.
Not all the children have been traumatised in the same way. Some people find it difficult to understand that to be orphaned is traumatic for a child. Other children have been abused – sexually, physically and/or psychologically. Some children are at Mants'ase because their parent/guardian is serving a prison sentence. Some have been abandoned or, for any number of reasons, their families can't give them a home.
A child may find it very difficult to cope with the fact that their parent/guardian is in prison because of testimony that they gave at a trial. They may blame themselves for what has happened and not the person who abused them.
Facebook, for example, is very popular in Lesotho and most people in the bigger centres have facebook on their phones. We truly appreciate the support that many of our Basotho followers give us but unfortunately, there are also a lot of trolls. The children will never feel secure if they are worried about what they can or can't talk about.
So to sum up, we can't always cater to what we imagine will grab the attention and sympathy of potential donors by sharing our children's personal stories, and so increase donations. We have to put the children's welfare above all else and so we depend on people to view the overall work that we do and to understand that each and every child in our care has their own very personal and private story.