From the Director’s Desk
By Deborah Diedericks (Director)
A man once found a little boy picking up starfish on a beach and patiently, one by one, throwing them back into the ocean. “What are you doing?” the man asked, “There must be tens of thousands of starfish lying on this beach. You cannot possibly make a difference!” The little boy stooped and picked up another starfish, and throwing it back into the ocean, he said, “It makes a difference to this one.”
A familiar story and I suspect the mantra of every person engaging in the child sector in South Africa.
Recently, another spate of child murder and rape and abuse stories hit the media and illuminated particular dead starfish who were left on the beach too long. It sends me into despair as I look and I see that the beach is covered as far as the eye can see.
But then I get on a plane and I happen to sit next to a white man reading a book by Eusebius McKaiser called Run Racist Run and we have a two hour conversation on race and race relations and social justice and it turns out that he does not just talk the talk but that he is deeply engaged in job creation as a social justice project (see www.fixforward.com). And I say all that in one breath out of excitement because it makes me look up from my particular spot on the beach and see that there are actually people in boats on the ocean working with the current to prevent the starfish from landing on the beach in the first place. And I look further down the beach and I see hundreds of people dotted around, patiently and in a myriad of different ways, one by one picking up starfish and throwing them back. Making a difference to each one.
My condolences to the loved ones of children who were recently murdered. This is a call to those of you not already on the beach, to join the movement, to get your feet wet.