This week, Gap Year intern, Benedette learnt a lesson on coping with loss after a painful experience. She also urges us to do cancer checks regularly so as to stem the disease on time.

Everyday is a learning experience at Faraja. Last week, we challenged the children to draw their family portrait. I found out that the portraits were quite therapeutic. These portraits tell a lot about a child. They reveal who they value; their confidence levels fire up and drawing also sparks their creativity. This engagement helped me to interact better with the children and understand them more. The psychology of children from how they think to how they behave has become clearer during my internship at Faraja.

Unfortunately, we lost one child to cancer at the oncology ward. This greatly affected the energy of the children. It was a bit hard to accept the loss but we had to be strong for the kids. We did a fun activity playing balloons to lift their moods. This experience made me think of life in a different way. I am learning that it is high time I utilize this precious resource called life. Everyone has a limited time and life comes only once.

I felt challenged to always do my best in whatever task I have – because if I don’t do it now, who will? Losing someone is difficult for everyone; the kids were taking the situation pretty well. By the end of the activity, they were back to their normal selves as if nothing had happened. The quicker someone gets over loss, the better for them. This does not only apply to death but also to other losses we may experience in life. Letting go is a vital step to healing.

In as much as the number of people affected by cancer is on the rise, a huge number of people don’t know about the disease. It is important to get screened and learn more about cancer. After being in a session with women who had cervical cancer, I discovered the major cause of this is the lack of correct information and fear of going for screening. This has resulted in many people discovering it at a very deadly stage, which is worrying.

We should take responsibility and know whether they we have this disease or not. Just the way people go for a blood test or an X-ray, this is how we can get rid of fear – by going for cancer screening. The earlier the better and the more we save lives.