My mother has never talked about my father; one time I asked and she cried bitterly.
Since I was born, I have been living with my mother and sister under very difficult situations. My mom always struggled to provide for our basic needs and education, but she has never stopped believing in God. Throughout our childhood, we did not have proper meals, clothes, or even school essentials. We became the laughing stock of the village, especially because I did not have a father. Seeing that we were suffering from poverty, nobody offered us help or care, apart from my maternal grandparents. When others rejected us, my grandparents still loved us.
As the sole provider, my mom used to work in a village over 255 miles away while my sister and I lived in the village with our grandparents. We never had a carefree childhood as I had to take over most of the household chores. I never made friends because I was not allowed outside. In 2012 however, my mother’s work contract ended and she had to return to our village. I was in my second year of high school, and without school fees, I was sent home. Life at home was tough, as my uncles’ wives forced me to work for them without any sort of compensation. I was very vulnerable. At that point, my only wish was to complete my education so that I could help other girls like me.
After being out of school for a year, my mom heard about Freely in Hope on the radio and she wrote down the contact details. We successfully applied for a scholarship and I was able to go back to school. Life changed for us all; our hope as a family was renewed, and for the first time in my life, I truly believed that I would achieve my dreams and support my family.
I have grown emotionally through the counseling support offered by FIH. FIH has taken care of me emotionally, financially, and has enabled me to receive holistic education. I have continued to grow both as a person and as a leader. I am no longer vulnerable because I have a safe place to live, provided by FIH. My childhood and past experiences have impacted my present social life, but with the support of FIH, I am working toward healing. My difficult journey has taught me valuable lessons, and I hope to use those lessons to bring healing to the lives of other girls. To bring healing, I am studying to become a nurse.
I pray that God will guide me in my leadership, and that I will always be ready to listen to and serve the people. With FIH, I lead outreach programs that reach out to vulnerable people, offering them knowledge and information on sexual violence. My dream is to continue doing this work as a nurse. As a healthcare provider, I will advocate for health facilities to create one-stop centers for survivors and for those who are vulnerable. This will help break the cycle of abuse because they will not have to go back to the same environment as their abusers. Here, they will be cared for emotionally and medically.