We were in South Africa touring through one of Cape Town’s many townships when a horde of children began to follow us. We stopped and talked with them, taking pictures and playing with their toys (a boy’s hilarious mouth full of marbles), and a sweet little girl kept smiling at me. I knelt down next to her and we giggled together, unable to communicate in a common verbal language. I played with her hair while she played with mine. My friend and coworker Rob picked her up onto his shoulders and she came along with us as we walked, continuing to smile at me and touch my hair. She pressed her tiny finger into my hair clip, and when we stopped to mingle more, I took the hair clip out and put it into her hair. I took a picture with her and we eventually parted. This exchange with this little girl has stuck with me ever since. I walked away from our day in Khayelitsha with a broken heart knowing that I may never see any of the people we met again — the children we laughed with could fall victim to the rampant violence in the area. But I also walked away from that day with determination. We had a monumental goal ahead of us: to stop violence against women, and I had a mission to help make a change in that little girl’s life. That trip was life changing. We met many more young people eager for equality, and I feel so proud of what the EMC has accomplished to help them achieve our shared goal of peace.
-Heather Conover , ’11
Game Designer at ArenaNet
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