The year of 2011 was a great one for our rescue home. We grew from 11 to 16 girls and watched as our original 11 girls welcomed 5 new sisters into their lives and hearts. They all adjusted quickly, and have settled well into their new home and life together. Christmas was a joyful time and the girls were so happy to receive new dresses and shoes. They spent December resting from school and sharing their contagious joy with others by singing at church. Now the next couple of weeks will be spent reviewing lessons and preparing to return to school. They are eager to learn and excited to begin attending a new and better school beginning in February. There, they will receive a higher quality education as well as more individual attention thanks to smaller class sizes. This is only a possibility thanks to your interest in their lives and your generous gifts! Thank you!
Our Imani Program has also expanded and grown this year, just like the skills of the women employed there. They have become capable seamstresses, and are now taking time to focus on creating beautiful jewelry once again. On a daily basis they are gaining new skills, new English, and new confidence and dignity which can be seen on their faces. Their children continue to attend our nursery school and learn important basic foundational skills for their future educations. More exciting news is that in the past few months we've welcomed two new women into the Imani program and we are so excited to see the differences taking place in their lives already. When you empower a mother, you also empower her children and make a difference for her entire family.
We are so thankful for the success stories that make every difficult day totally worth it. I want to share two quick stories... one about a young girl, the other a grown woman....but both were expecting and both were alone in the world and at risk of complications with their pregnancies.
Nancy came to us after her uncle tried to force her into a child marriage at 14. She had been raped just before coming to Zion Project. When she learned that she was pregnant, she was devastated and afraid. But with the love, concern, and care of our staff and access to medical care, she successfully delivered a healthy baby boy in early November. Nancy is now a part of our rescue home family, and is looking forward to returning to school in a couple of weeks. She no longer has to live in fear or feel abandoned.
Bijou was alone in the slum when our women learned about her situation during community outreach. She is HIV+ and was four days past her due date. Thanks to people like you who have taken this opportunity to invest in the lives of women, we were able to get her the medical help and support that she needed. She gave birth to a healthy baby girl and is now employed in our Imani program so that she can provide for herself and her family with dignity.
The things that Zion Project has accomplished over the past year are only possible because of our supporters and donors. Thank you! Know that every penny you give truly makes a difference in the life of someone here. When we welcome a new girl into the rescue home, or hire a new mother into Imani, it is because someone cared enough to send us the resources we needed. Girls are being rescued and protected, and women are being empowered and healed. We are ready for 2012 and can't wait to see what opportunities come our way! Thanks for walking with us.