We had a beautiful time performing for a government run orphanage in Chile. These kids had nothing and no one. The director told me that 70% of them will live their whole lives in one of the homes for children that the state runs. There are three homes, one for children age 1 to 5, one for children 5 to 12 and one for children 12 to 18. They get moved from one home to the next and then when they turn 18, they are on their own. It is so sad because I once met a young man in prison who had spent his life in these orphanages and then ended up robbing a store to survive when he was on the streets.
The orphanages do not have enough staff to give the kids adequate care so many end up neglected. When I first went into the orphanage court yard, there was a little girl sitting in a corner just crying. It really breaks your heart to see their suffering. Some have parents, but the parents that are not fit to raise them so the state takes them, and since the children are too young to understand everything, they just feel unwanted.
When we preformed for them, there was a little boy, maybe 7 or 8 who was deaf. We would lay next to our speaker so he could feel the vibrations of the music. He loved seeing magic and hugging our big stuffed lion. We were able to tell them stories and puppet shows to give them a message of hope and love. I think seeing some of the older kids laugh makes me the most happy. There is so much suffering in those young eyes.
A few companies donated some toys and little
stuffed animals that we were able to give these kids.
They had a blast, I just hope the teachers don’t hate me
for giving them whistle things.