Every time I go out on a project visit I get a different type of jolt to my heart. My expectations never match the outcome of how I feel once I’m with the children. I walk in thinking this situation will be something I have seen before, something I should be used to by now, but it never works that way.
Click on the photo to watch a video from the visit
Some time ago, I met Sofia while visiting one of our projects. She seemed like such a strong and determined young woman with her child on her hips. She sat down with me to share her story.
Her child was over one year old but they didn’t have anywhere to live until a month ago. Her mother was a drug addict that had just been released from prison and she did not want to return to that home, where she knew she was exposing her child to a very dangerous way of life. Her dad was still in prison for possession of drugs. Her boyfriend committed suicide a month before her baby was born. She was all alone but smart enough to protect her baby first and do whatever was best for her child.
I wasn’t sure I could take in more, until she smiled and looked me in the eyes and told me she was so happy now. She had found a home; her best friend’s mother had offered her to come live with them. Even though five people already lived there, they made room for Sofia and her child, and took her in. She told me that she had no idea what it felt to be part of or have a family life until now.
She then explained to me she had taken courses, before and after giving birth by a program that Childhood supports, and that made her realize the importance of her baby and how it was her responsibility to make sure her child was well care for. She said that if I had had anything to do with that, she wanted me to know how thankful and grateful she was, because the program had opened her eyes of what a miracle her baby was and how it was now up to her to change the future.
This is one reason why I am so proud of being a part of Childhood and the work we do because we reach out to very vulnerable teenage girls and provide them with education, money for day care, and support, so their lives can be a little easier and prevent their children from suffering even further due to their harsh circumstances.