They spend their days sitting in one darkened corner of the room. Yes, they are blind, but how they know to sit in complete darkness baffles me.
Their home is a room no bigger than my shoebox-sized apartment, yet with the children huddled so tightly in the corner and so much empty space, you would never know that 11 people occupy it.
They sit in darkness, and I wonder what goes through their minds. Some silently swing their heads in figure of 8’s as if magic melodies are swirling through, and others sit as still as stone statues, lost in deep meditative thought.
There is something very sad about them, no mannerisms, actions or sound represents a child. This is not right; no child should be so suppressed of living just because they are blind.
After days of watching this sort of behavior, I know I have to do something, but the only idea I come up with is to use music as a tool to humanise the children. No electricity, no means to play music and I’m definitely not of the music teacher sort - all that is left is my laptop with 20% battery remaining. It’s not going to be long, but it will have to do.
I don’t have a big music selection stored on my laptop but there is one track that comes to mind, it’s an electro swing track, and hopefully it will lift these children out of their corner.
I set up my laptop facing the children. The light from the screen casts a blue glow across their bodies. Some can sense the strong light, which seems to stimulate their sleeping senses and triggering their curiosity.
The music starts and stomping chords from a piano are heard, I notice one of the boys has an instant growing smile appearing on his face and within a few seconds, along to the beat of the music, he starts swing his arms around his body in a power-walker’s motion. The others need a bit of encouragement. I grab little Mila by the hands and help her up, she starts circling me with flat-footed heavy tuck-jumps, which make thudding noises against the house’s concrete floor. The vibrations from this foster the other children’s confidence to join her. One of the bigger boys in his mid teens breaks out in a hopping fashion, every now and then stamping his airborn leg and completing the move with a country-style knee slap. Jusita the eldest girl of the house is up gracefully spinning and swinging her arms like octopus tentacles gently swimming through current. Even the lady of the house who looks after the children has caught the infectious music bug. Wearing her floor length housedress, she balances both of her babies, one on each hip and swings from side to side like the arm of a metronome, all in perfect timing.
Laughter and cries of happiness reach every soundwave in the room, and with all the movement and energy the space no longer feels empty. The boundaries of the room seem much much smaller, full of life, full of happiness and full of children being children.