Marie was raped when she was 16 years old by a family member after thé death of her parents. The trauma of the rape, coupled with desolation, fear, and anger left her bitter. When she found out she was prégnant, she couldn't deal with the burden of a baby and found it very difficult to love the baby.
Somehow, Marie connected with the Boyebi Center in Gemena and there, she and her baby have found understanding, love and a future. At the Center, women like Marie learn a trade, either sewing or hair dressing so that they can take care of their financial needs. Now, Marie lives with her late parents' neighbors and her baby. She is an eager learner who is grasping the hope she's been offered with two hands while connecting with her baby, learning from other women at the Center.
Practical help is also offered to women at the Center. They are taught that there is a God who sees and loves them. When they are sick, a small fund is available to help with medicine and food. And, this month, all the trainees received feminine pad kits from the American Foundation for Children with AIDS. This gift is huge, as the cost to buy pads is prohibitive for these women, so they use scraps of cloth which don't offer protection, forcing them to miss a few days of classes each month. Thanks to the generosity of volunteers who sew the reusable pads, Marie no longer will miss classes, but even better, she won't miss being part of a community that has shown her love and hope.
Everyone here at the American Foundation for Children with AIDS, and our partners in Africa, thank you for your continued support of this important project. If you would like to learn even more about this project and others, please contact Tanya Weaver at tweaver@AFCAids.org.