My name is Memory, I am 34 years old and a single mother of 2 (a boy 16 and a girl 10) and this is my story - A few months after my high school final year my boyfriend (now my ex) and I went out on a date, just to hang out and have fun with friends - the usual teen stuff teenagers do when they are together be it in their large numbers or small groups, and he brought me back home an hour or so after the curfew my parents had set for me and my brothers and that's the day my life turned for the worst because my aunt kicked me out - as per our tradition an aunt is supposed to 'discipline' a girl when she has done something wrong and I guess she thought by dumping me at my boyfriend's home she was right (she took me back to my boyfriend's house and left me there so that my boyfriend's family will go back with me to my family and my family will charge them for the wrong they 'had done' by their son bringing me home late but there was a problem because his family did not have enough money for their up keep let alone to go and pay for "our mistake") and that led to things not working out according to her plan and by that time I really didn't know that that step she took will ruin my life forever - I was only a child. And with lack of support and resources to turn to I had to stay with my boyfriend and his family for months and I fell pregnant with my first child. Please note that while all this was happening my parents where out of the country working so that they could support us due to the economic hardships in my country, people couldn't get jobs and even if they did they would go for months without pay, hence they opted for greener pastures in another to help us survive. And when they returned home for holidays they wanted me to comeback home but it was already too late because I was already pregnant. And they couldn't keep someone's 'wife and child' in their house because it will corrupt other children they had at home among other things. And that's how I got married and had my first child at 18, I have done my fair share of the blame game and it never helped me in an way so I taught myself to take responsibility of some of what happened and this is the shortest version of my story.
I am not sharing it to get attention of any sort but as an issue that's close to my heart I need to make a difference in my country one girl at a time. After years of being in an abusive relationship both physically and emotionally I managed to pull through on my own and fight for my dreams and my kids and I am doing okay but the next girl in the same situation might not be able to do so because she doesn't know where to begin or who to approach. I have a decent job and I am taking care of my kids and we are all going to school and I am doing all this on my own for me and my kids. And I am not saying that it has always been this 'easy' for me from the beginning no, I have made hundreds of mistakes over a period of 16 years and have learned the hard way most things about life but I pulled through. I don't want these girls to go through the same and continue on their own I need to be there for them and walk with them in their journey to restoring themselves to their potential.
REASON FOR SHARING MY STORY
I know there is a lot of young girls going through the same challenge as I went through, and they have no one to turn to for help or advise because everyone of their family members is in agreement with such situations being created for these girls. They really are alone and they have given up on their lives and dreams they had for themselves because now they have to focus on their 'marriages' and washing and cooking for their 'husbands' and looking after their children. They do not think of anything else other than that because for them there will never be anything else again except that. They are not thinking of going back to school or following their dreams or bettering their lives so they can become even better people and well respected members of their society who can contributed positively to it -according to them all hope is lost. And with not one to tell them otherwise and no knowledge of where they can get help, their situations are only getting worse. And that's where I want to come in.
- I want to start an organisation that will look for these girls and point them in the right direction, give them hope and advice and help in going back to school so they can achieve their goals and make their inner most dreams a reality, by telling them it is possible and help them find proper channels that can help them to.
- For me to able to accomplish that I need help and expert advice or professional advice on how I should go about it.
- I need to know who I should approach to make it (for example which organisations)
- Are you a social worker, a youth leader? motivational speaker or anything that you know can help me? Please contact me on my email address [email protected] I will gladly appreciate any help and guidance in this journey. So please do note hesitate to contact me so that you can help in anyway you can. Thank you