Easter and the Great trek north
Easter weekend saw the mass migration of Rain workers up country to the Eastern Free State and mountain Kingdom of Lesotho – 12 hours drive to the birthplace of Rain.
The excitement was palpable – some of the workers only see their families three – four times a year. Migrant labour is commonplace in South Africa. Poverty and desperation force breadwinners to leave their families and seek work where they can find it.
It is deeply humbling to see these men and women uncomplainingly leave the love and comfort of their family lives and travel to work far away – unselfishly sending all their money home to their loved ones and living on the barest minimum for themselves.
Some of our Rainmakers are Zimbabweans ( South Africa officially has 3 million Zimbabwean refugees who have fled a despotic president, extreme poverty and starvation and a cholera epidemic to try and find a means of survival in South Africa. These people work only to send money home to their desparate families whose expected lifespan is now at 36 years of age for a man ! These are brave people who have left their homeland to face hardships and uncertainty in a new country with a xenophobic people who lash out and kill Zimbabweans simply for “taking their jobs away “. It is not a pretty picture.
We are privileged to be able to make a difference in these poeple’s lives – to be able to throw them a lifeline and watch as they gradually get back on their feet and have their smiles return to worried faces. It certainly keeps things in perspective and keeps one eternally grateful for everything we have.