Imagine three pregnant girls with no job skills who have been abandoned with little hope for the future. They wander aimlessly without food, shelter, or purpose. After their babies are born, how will they each support their newborn baby?
Fatuma: She was disowned and forced to leave her family’s home. Although her pregnancy was the result of a non-consensual assault, she suffered the consequences of her attacker’s actions. Traumatized by horrific memories and facing a bleak future, she did not know what to do or who to turn to for help. Her chances of survival are uncertain; weeks have gone by without essential prenatal care and she has had very little food to nourish herself and her unborn baby.
Abuna: She was taken in by a cousin who had very good intentions. Her cousin’s family shared their food and they provided her with a safe place to sleep, but their generosity could not last forever. When the baby was born, her cousin’s home became too crowded and Abuna’s welcome ran out. Desperate to help her, Abuna’s cousin arranged a marriage for her. This marriage may be a blessing, but it is just as likely to become a lifelong nightmare for Abuna and her child.
Christiana: She was found wandering the streets after being forced to leave her shamed parents’ home. The baby’s father had no interest in taking care of a baby. Her future looked hopeless and her choices were early marriage, prostitution, or death.
Then a wonderful opportunity found Christiana. She was welcomed into a home that assists girls facing terrible circumstances. Prenatal care was provided to her and the people at the home helped Christiana give birth to a healthy baby. She and her baby were provided with food and a safe place to sleep. People at the home were eager to teach her how to build a better future for herself and for her baby.
Visions of hope slowly replaced Christiana’s tragic memories as she regained her strength. She attended classes to learn the mothering skills that she never had a chance to learn. She also started to learn new job skills and she acquired qualifications that could help her gain complete independence.
Every morning Christiana wakes up with a smile because every day is a new chapter of a brighter future.
Christiana was lucky to find help. You can help girls that have not been as lucky, like Fatuma and Abuna, to find hope for a better future.