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Early Light

Early Light

Painting and Story by Lehan Winifred Ramsay

This was the problem that the orphanage asked me to to find a solution for.
The orphanage didn’t have much money, relied on volunteers. The kids got a basic education at the orphanage, a pretty old-fashioned one. I think they had one teacher and they had classes five days a week. At the age of 15 they had to leave there.

Some of the kids got adopted, mainly by French couples. For the others the orphanage tried to give them some basic training of some kind and to get them a job.
But no matter what job a child got, it was a hard job with little pay and many hours of labour, and the kids gave up quickly and ran away.

They ended up on the street and things didn’t go well for them. The orphanage wondered if there was something that could be taught about personal responsibility. And something that could motivate them.

That was in 2005. I’ve been thinking about that for eight years now. Maybe they’ve found a solution, or maybe they’ve forgotten the problem. Anyway, so far I haven’t been able to think of anything.