We love Emma for loving Moses as much as she does – because Moses is a very special young man indeed. He stole Emma’s heart years ago and she’s been supporting him ever since. The story will bring a tear to your eye – and make you fall in love with Moses too! Emma’s story appeared in Take A Break magazine and she used her fee to buy Moses a new bicycle, much to his delight.
Emma and Moses used to give each other a little present every day. But the greatest gift was love… (ah…!)
“I was volunteering at a small children’s charity in Malawi when I met Moses, then six. There were 60 children in the room and for some reason, my eyes landed on him. Sometimes, I’d catch Moses looking off into the distance looking sad. No shoes, no school – that was the rule in the village. Often Moses would be sent home for being barefoot. I longed to help him.
I was only supposed to be there three months but I couldn’t leave, so I quit my job back home and moved to Malawi for a year. Moses’s mum fell ill and he had no where to live, so I asked if he could live with me and my boyfriend.
For six months, Moses lived with us. He’d come from such a tough background – he was malnourished and lived in poverty. But he was the happiest, most confident boy I’d ever met. He couldn’t believe our home had light switches and a shower – all he wanted to do all day was shower and turn the lights on and off. Neither of us spoke the other’s language but we would make up our own words, which always made us giggle.
I took him to a toy shop and told him he could have any toy he wanted. Moses found a diving mask and insisted he didn’t want a toy or a game – he wanted that mask. He wore it everywhere – even in bed – his bright, sparkling eyes glistening through the glass. He’d never seen the ocean, or even a fish swim. Every day, we’d give each other a little present. I’d give him some pencils or a book. He’d give me a locust or a beetle he’d found outside – then he’d roar with laughter as I squirmed.
One day, I found him outside digging. He’d buried everything I’d ever given him – every empty water bottle, every hair band – in a little box so no one else would find it. After I’d left Africa, friends told me that Moses’s mum had remarried and his new step-dad didn’t like him. He’d been badly beaten up and been accused of being a witch. I couldn’t sit back and let this happen so I intervened and begged friends still in Malawi to ensure Moses lived with his grandfather instead. I also decided to make a life-long commitment to funding Moses’s hopes and dreams. Not just for his schooling, but beyond.
Now, Moses is at school every day. He loves drama and maths. I send money to pay for his school fees, uniform, books, sports kit and also for his granddad to buy food – he sends me Moses’s school reports and I visit every 18 months. We even speak on Skype. Moses and his granddad walk miles into town to find a computer so we can stay in touch. Every time his granddad sends me a new picture, I cry with happiness. He’s come so far.
Our friendship was born out of little presents. I’ll always give Moses as much as I can because he’s given me so much more than I could ever give him.