By Georges Budagu Makoko, Publisher of Amjambo Africa

“The skies and the future both bring rain and sun, and sometimes it is hard to predict what they hold for us.”

“ Ikirere Kibyara izuba n’invura , ntawamenya ikiri buvuke “

a Kinyarwanda saying

Finally, after one year and four months marked by fear and social distancing, we are finally seeing the light at the end of a very dark tunnel – at least here in Maine. Thanks to the focused, collective efforts of our government, and of scientific organizations around the world, our environment is now so much safer because of the vaccines that were developed.

Children in Maine have suffered a great deal because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their social options were extremely limited, and they had to rely almost exclusively on support from their parents at home for activities. This was destabilizing for them.

I remember the hard conversations I had with my kids right at the beginning of the pandemic. It was so difficult to explain to them why they could not go back to school, run around freely outdoors, and enjoy the company of their friends in their classes, in the neighborhood, and on the playground.

Now businesses are reopening, including different recreational areas that have been closed for months. We really owe it to our children to get them outdoors.

It’s the gift they have been looking forward to, the best of all gifts – playing and having fun outside. And although in general immigrant parents work extremely hard – usually holding two or three jobs – and it can be very hard for parents to find quality time to spend outside together with their children, I encourage everyone to do their best. Try and find some time to enjoy at least some of what our beautiful state of Maine has to offer during the beautiful, long days of summer.

Meanwhile, my heart goes out to the millions of children around the world whose lives are in danger, and who cannot enjoy the peace and security we are privileged to experience here every day.