Updated: May 3, 2022
She walked back and forth in front of our house. After a time, Justine went out to greet her and ask how she was doing. Her children were hungry, and she didn't know where to go for help. She wanders. God led her to us. This is what we do. Justine gave her a big bag of food, and she was so very thankful. But then she asked for drinking water, and then we knew she and her children were starving. Justine, our matriarch and the hands and feet of WOFAHU, has been where she has been many times. She knew what to do. She gave them breakfast, porridge, and bread. They just needed something in their stomachs. Now we can talk.
She shared her story with us. I will tell this in her own words as best as I can. Grammarly will probably get on my nerves.
"My name is Evas. I don't know my parents, but I was told that my Mum left me when I was 3 years old. I grew up with some people who were rearing cattle. I am not certain how I am related to them, but all I know is that I grew up with them. I was with them until I reached 11 years old. They then told me that I needed to look for a job so that I might be able to start my own life. They asked one of their friends to take me to Kampala. I got a job as a housemaid. One day I was frying food in the kitchen and got burned with cooking oil on my hand and forearm (see in the photo). My boss told me I couldn't work there anymore with a burned hand and then turned me away. And told me to find work elsewhere. With the little money I earned, I rented a small wooden house and started selling vegetables to earn a living. After a while, I got a man who is the father of my two children. We were living together, and I gave birth to my firstborn. He asked me to abort the baby when I found out I was pregnant with our second child. I refused because I wanted my child and to abort is very dangerous. I could lose not only my baby's life but my own life. Then what would happen to my girl? She would end up like me. He left one morning for work and never came back. I was stuck, and the landlord later chased me out of the house since I couldn't afford the rent. At this time, I gave birth to my son but had no shelter to stay. In my condition, a lady offered me to stay in her charcoal store, but after a few days, she told me to go and stay on my own. I started looking for clothes to wash so that I could take care of my children. By then, I was staying on the streets. One night while I was sleeping, I woke to 3 men standing over me. I cried for help, but no one came. These three men raped me in front of my children. My life became so bitter. I would wake very early in the morning to go to the market and pick the remainder of food left behind so that I might feed my children. By then, my youngest child was 4 months old. I got some side jobs like fetching water and peeling food for people to buy milk for my kids. We moved from place to place, looking for someplace to stay. I heard of a Pastor who helps the needy. I decided to move from where we were to look for this Pastor, for we believed he was our only hope. We finally reached where he was staying but were told that he was not around. We waited 3 days for him at his gate, but no help was granted. With nowhere to go, a certain older man decided to give me and my kids shelter, and that is where I am right now."
This is so heartbreaking. I can not imagine a life like this, but this is very common there. Young girls that are in orphan schools are only able to stay until P7 (7th grade). Then, if they do not have a sponsor, which most do not, they are sent out to the streets to fend for themselves. Most end up in private homes as a servant where they are abused and mistreated. Many get pregnant and then the cycle keeps going.
We are giving these ladies a chance to break these cycles by teaching them a trade, ministering to them and studying the Word together in community.
UPDATE ON EVAS
Evas and her children are now in a small but nice room outside of JoJo's Farm. She will be working on the farm with Agnus and her children. They are safe and they are loved. She has moved from place to place over the years, most of the time on the streets with her children. We bought her mattresses, bedding, and all that she'll need to start over. She's exhausted and slept a lot while she was at our house. She even had her first shower. Her life has drastically changed in just a few days, and she can hardly believe it. I can't imagine the horror she's been through, struggling to take care of herself and her children without any help at all. Well, she has help now, and we have embraced her into the WOFAHU family.
We are working with her, ministering to she and her kids. She will join our program as soon as she completes the vetting process which we are sure she will.
Evas finally had her baby in November 2021. I came home in June, but was returning in November for the family's first college graduation of our youngest girl, Gloria. I kept asking when the baby would be born and the doctors kept saying 2 weeks, 2 weeks. I told Justine that he was just waiting for me before he came. He was born the day I got there. He is a beautiful boy, very healthy and content. Evas asked me to name him, so meet Jacob.