BaanGerda has existed for seven years and we continue to collect new experiences. Occasionally, problems arise that we have not encountered before and some of these can be difficult to deal with. They require us to examine our approaches and methods to ensure that we make the correct decisions and are fair to everyone in the village.
A week ago, a new boy who was 14 years old was brought to us. He had lived in a close-by orphanage for the last five years, before he was sent away due to bad behavior. The orphanage simply could not control him any more and asked us to take him. As he is HIV-infected we agreed. We never refused a HIV-infected child.
Only one week later we had to send him back. During this time at BaanGerda, he did not accept any of our rules and he left the village and returned as he liked. He refused to communicate and would not answer questions from his house parents. When he started to bring his friends from his old place, who were also very misbehaved, the house parents asked us to intervene. We sent him back to the orphanage, fearing for BaanGerda’s day to day life and the bad example for the rest of the village.
Could we have done better for this boy? We know he will not stand a chance in life when he continues on his present path, but isn’t it more important to protect the standard and discipline of our community?