When the day arrived for us to go I was having second thoughts. I was concerned this may be more than a 5 year old should see. But after thinking about it for a while I decided we would go and if it was too much we would leave. As a mom I want to protect my child from the negative parts of the world but at the same time she needs to know not everyone lives like we do. So we went.
When we arrived there were several trailers connected and set up in a parking lot. We found a place to park and headed to the entrance. Once inside there were volunteers to explain the tour. Basically, you are given headphones and an iPod. Then you enter the trailers. There will be 3 doors to choose from, depending on whose story is loaded onto your iPod determines the door you enter. Then you press the prompts on the iPod as you walk through the guided tour.
We had chosen to learn about Julia’s life first. So we entered the trailer and started the iPod. First we heard about the hardships Julia had experienced. We saw a replica of where she lived. It was scary and a tough story to hear. No child should have to experience what Julia has. And being a mom it really touched my heart. But then Julia’s family found the Compassion Experience and they helped her and her family. Julia had somewhere safe to go. Somewhere she could get an education. We even walked through a replica of what the Compassion project looked like where Julia was. It was an eye opener to see what these children had compared to my own daughter who attends a pre school. The conditions are night and day.
By the end of our first story I knew I had made the right choice. These were things I knew I wanted my daughter to see and hear. But my favorite part of the tour was at the end when Julia herself came on the iPod and told us about her life now. We got to see how the Compassion project had helped her. Not just feed her and keep her safe during her childhood but gave her an education and tools so she could move out of the unsafe neighborhood. I knew after experiencing Julia’s story we needed to go back and listen to Ruben’s and Brinda’s stories too.