Loida’s story: Pregnant after being raped
Loida was 14 years old and an excellent student at her secondary school, until the day she was raped by her uncle.
After several weeks, she was thrown out of school because her teachers could see that she was pregnant. At the time, Loida did not understand what pregnancy was, due to a lack of awareness. At home she was forced to make a statement in front of the entire family, but as her uncle threatened her with death, she said nothing. Her parents threw her out of the house, stating that she brought shame to the family. She was forced to live on the street until she gave birth to her child. She worked hard to survive. One day her mother sought out to look for her and when they reunited, Loida told her mother the real story. They reported the incident to the police, however, the Police refused to take action as too much time passed and there was not enough evidence of the rape. Moreover, her father refused to believe her, calling Loida a liar. Trying to help her daughter, Loida’s mother heard about Faraja Center and brought Loida and her child to us.
Loida arrived at Faraja at a time where she lost all her trust in people and also had problems in accepting her child. Throughout the time Loida stayed with us, we offered a lot of counseling time to help her re-gain trust and love her child. During her time at Faraja Vocational Training school, Loida specialized in cookery. She graduated from Faraja and started to work as a cook in one of Arusha’s hotels. Her mother now looks after her baby while she is working. Loida still has the dream of furthering her education. Thanks to one of Faraja’s sponsors, Loida will be able to go back to school and fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse.
Sarah’s story: Victim of human trafficking and lack of education
Sarah was 8 years old, when her mother gave her away to work as a servant in an urban household, with the promise that she would be taken to school. However, once Sarah arrived at the household, she was viewed as a housemaid only and would not be given the opportunity to attend school anymore. As a victim of human trafficking and child labor, Sarah was not paid for her work, was not allowed to leave the house, was beaten and insulted, and also starved as a form of punishment. Through a neighbor, police were informed about that case, they managed to rescue Sarah and brought her to us.
At Faraja Center Sarah learnt how to read and write and at our Pre-School. Moreover, thanks to a donor that sponsored, we were able to pay for her school fees. Sarah is now in primary school and performing very well.
She will continue to live at Faraja Center, under our support, until she finishes school and can live on her own.
Joyce’s story: Victim of Maasai early marriage, pregnancy and lack of education
In the Maasai tribe men usually have more than one wife. When Joyce’s mother became the second wife of a Maasai man, she was already pregnant with Joyce. Later Joyce should have five more brothers and sisters. However, Joyce was never treated like the other children. One day her mother was chased away by the father and his other wives. Hence, the children went to live with another wife of the father. However, as Joyce was not his biological daughter, her father mistreated her and also invited other children of the village to beat her with sticks.
At the same time her father started looking for a husband for her. By then Joyce was only 12 years old. The father found a husband, but Joyce still had to be circumcised in order to be married. After the circumcision Joyce was married to that older man and had to move to town with him. (Female circumcision and child marriage are both prohibited by law in Tanzania, however it is still practiced above all in rural regions and by the Maasai)
Joyce was forced to have sex and consequently got pregnant. Finally the neighbors got very suspicious and informed the police. The gender unit of the police rescued Joyce and brought her to Faraja Center.
When she arrived at our Center, Joyce was 13 years old, she started attending our Pre-School, as she had never gone to school before, she didn’t even know how to hold a pencil. Furthermore, she only spoke the Maasai Language. With the help of the teachers and the other girls at Faraja Center, Joyce learned to speak Swahili and was taught how to read and write.
Thanks to a private donor we were able to send Joyce to primary school. Now she is a hardworking student and one of the best in her class. She dreams of further education which can be fulfilled thanks to her sponsor.