I was walking with one of our Freedom boys today, a boy we’ve been working with him for 4 years now. Well, I guess he’s no longer a boy but an incredible young man in his early twenties now. This year I get the privilege of seeing him graduate from high school. (A feat that only 35% of boys in Congo accomplish.)
As we were walking to get lunch, a classic plate of beans and potatoes, I started asking about his dreams. I knew he’s wanted to be a psychologist for years, but I was trying to get him to dig deeper.
"What was the moment you started dreaming for this? How did the events of your life transform from a cycle of war and poverty? Can you remember the time when things began to change?"
A boy after my own heart, he started talking about education. “I’ve seen boys my age with my kind of background who have not had the opportunities I did. Most of them steal, sometimes because of need, sometimes because of sport. They eat to survive; they work to survive; they wake up and sometimes just hope they survive. They don’t have dreams past that point.”
“But educated youth are different. They don’t desire the same things as others. They don’t desire the army like the others do. They have a vision for their life and want to accomplish that vision”
At this point I was fully beaming with pride over the man he’s become, but he doesn’t stop there,
“I want to be a psychologist because I see that my country is hurting. They are traumatized but they don’t have to stay that way.”
Our boys amaze me, constantly. The stories they tell and the dreams they have.
A small conversation but I just had to share.
Sometimes life in Congo is so challenging but convos like this and the laughter over lunch and I would take every hard thing again if it meant I got to see more lives like his changed.