After the disappointment of losing so many of our first litter of healthy piglets we now have 15 more! Veronica had 6 piglets on Tuesday night and this morning Missy Chambers outdid everyone and had 9. Our hope of course is that all 15 will survive.
It's always easy telling good news stories, and one senses that people don't want bad news. But I think we have to tell it how it is. So I have been putting this post off because it's not good news.
Firstly, while disappointing rather than disastrous, 5 of our first litter of 8 piglets died after just 2 days. Besides the financial setback which is a potential Rp12,500,000 in income it was really sad and worrying, although I am confident I know what happened. Without going into detail I think they died of dehydration, and while extremely frustrating and sad I am confident we shouldn't have the same problem again. On a positive note, we have completed the outdoor area for the pigs, and added additional shading for the pigpen. We are expecting two litters this month so we are very hopeful these will be successful and we will have a much better survival rate.
The second report initially seems like an answer to prayer, but the reality is far different. And this may give some of you a greater insight into the challenges we face with the children's home ministry. In the blog post dated 22nd June, 'Two more!', we reported on Kadek and Ebo who had just arrived after their mother had left them to fend for themselves (the father is away most of the time). This week we sent them home as their mother had returned, which on the face of it seems wonderful news.
Here is the reality of the situation. The father, being Balinese Hindu brings women back to his dwelling, which in itself is not unusual as they are polygamist, and according to an older daughter the mother used to bring men home when the husband was away. Before the mother left they came to us and asked if we could take Komang and Ebo but we said no. The mother then deserted the family (as it turns out to stay with another man). The father came to us again and said he couldn't care for the kids so we then agreed to take them. Then after a 4 month absence the mother returned and it was during the school holidays, so we sent them back to stay with their parents.
However, the parents said they were not going to stay together so they wanted us to take the kids back. But the kids said they didn't want to come back to Kingdom Kids Home.
The question of course is why wouldn't the kids want to come back? The answer is simple, and quite common amongst the poorer and illiterate communities. In these communities the children are given no boundaries, are not properly looked after and often don't to go to school, so they just run wild. Additionally, in the case of this family whenever the father returned home he would give the kids money. So when these kids came to KKH they faced discipline for the first time, were unable to do as they please or go where they want when they wanted, they had to go to school, and they had to study. But most of all, they don't get money to just spend on what they want.
So the kids said they wanted to stay in the village. Sadly, these precious little kids will most likely not receive any further education and have no future other than to continue the status quo of poverty, stealing, lying and maybe even worse. Should we acquiesce and take the kids back according to the wishes of their parents? One of the criteria for any child that comes to Kingdom Kids Home is that after 3 months they must want to stay. While we will do everything we can to persuade them, we won't keep them against their will.