Day 3: The Need

The statistics are all there. The high prevalence of poverty, HIV/AIDS, unemployment, and injustice against women shape this country into one of extreme, often overlooked need. For more stats check out our website. But for now, allow me to let you in on the untold parts of women’s oppression here. Single mothers struggle to provide for their children. Many women turn to prostitution as the only reliable source of income. Others seek out a husband to relieve the financial burden, but can only do so at the expense of their children. A man who marries a formerly single mother will not accept her children as his own. Children are often starved and deprived of a basic education as a result.  Just talk to Tresa about the intense struggles faced by single mothers…

Widows not only face the grief of a lost husband daily, but also are seen in their culture as “unfit” for another marriage. It’s believed that something was wrong with the woman for her husband to die. The widow is left without any rights to her deceased husband’s finances, land, property or assets, leaving the family homeless and with a long road ahead of them. Elina, mother of 6 and grandmother of 2, unfortunately knows all about life as a widow, after her husband died just 7 days after a mosquito bite.

So it sounds like marriage is the way to go, right? We’d love it if that was the case. Married women often enter marriage for the sole reason of financial provision. With little access to jobs, women see a man as a way out of a life of poverty, but it rarely works out as planned. Many married women experience domestic abuse and neglect. The hardship doesn’t ease up for women regardless of their marital status. Emeli knows all about it.

We’re shocked at the courage these women possess to take on each day on behalf of her children, wanting a better life for them than they’ve experienced themselves. We’re inspired by their belief that hope is real, and has the incredible power to change their lives for good.

Thankfully the story doesn’t end at oppression….