Q: Tell us about your childhood. Why do you think the staff at your Compassion center believed you would benefit from the program?
A: My life was difficult from the day I was born. My mother was an alcoholic, and my grandparents had to take me away from her when I turned 1 year old. But at their house, I was mostly looked after by my uncles, and under their care serious things happened to me. I fell out of the bed many times, suffering head injuries. I also would be bitten by ants all over, and as my uncles did not feed me, I was hungry most of the time.
Then, when I was 6, I started working after school. I worked with my grandmother doing laundry at a local motel, carrying heavy buckets of water and baskets of wet bedsheets.
Q: How did your life change when you began going to the Compassion center?
A: Being registered at the center was a blessing. They helped me so much. They gave me a bed, and I didn’t have to sleep with my grandparents anymore. At the center, I started to receive what I never had at home: love.
But still, when I went home, I was lonely. I felt despised by the community. Neighbors used to tell me that I was going to end up as a drug addict, a thief. They threw stones and yelled at me. They made fun of me because my father wouldn’t acknowledge me and my mother had abandoned me.