It was a 6 year old boy’s birthday and he could obviously not invite his friends to a birthday party. They stay in a suburb where people stay behind high walls to protect them against crime and people do not really socialise. In an effort to make something of the birthday his mother phoned the people in her street to ask if they would participate in making his birthday special by putting a little present for his birthday at their gate the next morning. Everyone was lockdown so they could not buy special presents.
On his birthday the mother took the boy for a drive in the street and stopped at each gate where a little present was placed. Much to their surprise almost everyone in the street participated and the boy was delighted by all the surprise presents. The little boy was very happy with his surprise birthday and that was the beginning of people in the street talking to each other.
People need a little stimulation to reach out to others. The difficult situation lead the mother to reach out to neighbours and the neighbours were keen and willing to participate. Most people are keen to experience a sense of community.
Story shared by Maretha Visser, South Africa
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