Girls of integrity

Girls of integrity
Shine, demand, stand
In front of me
Telling a tale
A story
From far far away
Their daily life
A battle to be fought
No, will I say
To the man that offers money
No, will I say
To the parent that wants me to work
No, will I say
To a beating for no reason
No, will I say
To a life without my dignity
I will be bold and clever
I will be creative and resourceful
Standing on my own two feet
Strutting around to my own heartbeat
And say yes to a life with my own integrity.
I wrote this poem after my visit to the group in a community in Freetown as part of the work of Defence for Children (see also Deer at the breakfast table). They also asked me if I liked cake and I said yes. On Saturday they came to the office and delivered a bag full of sausage roles – or pigs in a blanket as we would call them – which apparently is also cake?! I wasn’t there and couldn’t thank them personally, but I hope that with this determination (they had to come from the other end of town and in Freetown traffic/by minibus that must have been at least an hour) they will succeed further in making something out of their life.

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