— inspiration by Rev. Hendrien van Vliet

Spring! What a wonderful experience. It means new growth, new life and new hope. For many of our community members it has the same significance. Warmer weather means no more cold nights, less electricity usage, cheaper food and easier access to PEN’s programs and projects.

For some of our kids at the PEN Youth Program the winter season is always a very hard season. They don’t know if there will be enough food to eat or enough electricity to cook food with or even if there will be a warm blanket to sleep under at home. It is a season of despair, a season of hardship, a season of ‘just hold on for one more week’. Our Baadjie for a Maatjie campaign and the Winter Hope projects helped alleviate some of their fears and anxiety, helped give a warm night and warm morning instead of an icy cold one. With spring comes new hope. It brings a feeling of ‘I can go to school and not have cold feet,’ a feeling of ‘I can go home tonight and still have enough light to do my homework’. It gives a feeling of warmth, of life.

For us fortunate few who get to work with the beautiful children and teenagers of the city Spring throughout the week, it means we get to see them more, get to see them grow, get to see their excited faces about what’s going to happen during holiday times and also helping them get ready for next year and all the wonderful opportunities and challenges they will face at school, college, university or work. Spring is a time of eating together, of playing together and seeing the changes not only in nature around us, but also in the kids we work with every day.

We are so grateful for this happier time that lies ahead.

Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.