Meskerem’s life came to a pivotal point six months ago. Her face told the story before her words did. Desperation and fear had been her companions since childhood. Now as a young mother, she could only see the same future for her daughter. Her desperation drove her to take a chance on a program she had heard about that claimed to offer HOPE.
H O P E says you are loved.
H O P E says you have a purpose.
H O P E says you belong.
H O P E says you are needed.
H O P E says you have a choice.
No matter how unlikely life had made it seem, she decided to come and tell her story to a room full of white strangers. My heart is aching just remembering what it felt like to watch her recount the years that had brought her to us last November. Only an absolutely deplorable situation could explain her willingness to take another chance.
Meskerem was born in rural Ethiopia to an extremely poor family. Her mother died when she was very young leaving her father to care for four small children alone. His solution was to give Meskerem away to another family as a house servant. She was raped while living there and eventually ran away hoping to find a better life in Addis Ababa.
She was a young girl alone on the streets of Addis Ababa and became a target of rape again. She found work as a house servant, but no place seemed to be safe for her. When you are poor and without protection being pretty becomes a liability. After being raped by a man in her employers household she found herself heartbroken and pregnant. Her employers fired her […]