Thursday, 28 January 2010
So today for the first time i have slept through the night a full 7 1/2 hours - woo! In fact i slept so much ironically that i held everyone up for breakfast at Starbucks - they were gracious as usual!
The day has turned out to be a fairly light one actually. It's 4:45pm here and we're finished apart from having dinner somewhere and the worse thing that i've experienced is toothache - bad and nasty toothache, but seriously if that was the worst on the other days this week i would have been dancing.
This morning we visited a child protection unit and met the director of it. They are a multi-disciplinary unit seeking to treat and rehabilitate children who have suffered from abuse. They are government funded but their annual budget is 75,000 pounds and not only do they have to work from that but pay the salaries of some 20 staff also. Once again the woman we met seemed pleased that we were here and seemed touched that someone was taking an interest in their work and encouraging her to continue. It is a mark of Kanlungan's respect here that everyone we meet from children and street families to senior politicians and government agencies all work in partnership with Kanlungan and seem to hold them in high esteem.
Return to Starbucks and then next door to flapjacks for lunch and then off this afternoon to see a detention centre for young people. Thankfully we were spared the worst of this (with a threatening prospect of returning next week) but we could see enough to notice children leaning out of small rooms enclosed by prison bars. Its hard to describe the environment but it kept reminding me of the old eastern European institutions that held orphans or mentally ill children. The place was grotty and tatty and wouldn't be fit for animals in the UK, yet here in some of these filthy rooms over a 100 children are crammed in. As we were leaving we met the Cabinet Secretary for Justice & Welfare for the local government - so we have been hob-nobbing with dignitaries!
Then on to meet a local councillor and meet some of his staff, who were very friendly to say the least, and yet again a high-ranking city official spoke warmly of Kanlungan and the work they are doing. Not much else to add really, except that between 8:30 - 9:00am UK time on Sunday i will be live on Radio Lancashire on Joe Wilson's Sunday breakfast show. They are doing a live link up and have been following some of the blogs and have given us an opportunity to share a bit more personally to the county of Lancashire. Hope you'll tune in.