Testimony by one of the founders' children

 

MY MOM'S STORY

My mom (Elizabeth) was born and brought up in a large family because her father had three wives whose children were about thirty hi total. My mom's mother was the third and the youngest of the three wives of her father. Her mother was twelve years of age when she was given out for marriage by her father as an arranged marriage. My mom (Elizabeth) was the tenth child of her mother (a surprise baby if you will). Her mother developed complications immediately when she was born, she had a bleeding problem which caused frequent trips to the hospital. Poor healthcare coupled with insufficient funds at that time added to the complications causing her health to deteriorate.

My mother never enjoyed a mother's love and care during her infancy and childhood due to the poor health of her mother. It was at the age of six or so when Elizabeth went through a life altering experience that would forever change her. She lost both of her parents in a span of two years. First the death of her father, followed by the death of her mother in the following year. Her mother, who was the youngest of three wives, had accumulated nothing in terms of wealth, so she had nothing to pass on to her kids. This was a huge blow and an experience no child should have to go through alone. My mom recalls days when her mourning and grieving would intensify, leaving her little body weak and inconsolable. She would ask herself how one could go about their day to day duties. It forced her to cry even bitterly since there was no one bothered to understand or comfort her. She seemed to see her mothers' reflection on the faces of any women that approached her.

As my mother had recounted her story one specific part had always haunted my memory. A vision of a little girl looking forward to her mothers return from the hospital. For it was only her touch, her smile that made her feel wanted. However as she stood on that step on that day looking through the crowd of guests that had arrived at her house, she could not find that familiar face, that warm touch she had deeply longed for.

It didn't take too long for her step-brother who lived very close to her mother's home to notice that something was wrong with my mother. He had promised my mother's mom (grand-mother) that he would take care of my mother if anything had happened to her. He picked her from her mother's home brought her to his house where she lived with him the rest of her life until when she grew up and got married.

Both her childhood and teenage-hood were the most difficult years of her life growing up without a mother or father. Her only consolation and comfort used to come from the women in her home church who understood her and knew what she was going through in her life. They spiritually adopted her as their child to bring her up in the things of God, so she used to spend most of her time in the church with those women. The other source of her comfort came from God's Word which she used to read daily. As the years went by this became her passion and dream to one day share with others of her experiences and to assure them (orphans) that their situations was not a fault of their own. Her passion and dream to help other children who are orphans like her, has been increasing more and more as she sees children in her village and its surrounding been robed of their parents by death through the HIV (Aids) virus. Over the years it has been my moms dream to one day build a home for the orphans. To provide a home for them the same way was helped by the church people as an orphan during her childhood.

As I have matured I have seen how giving back to the community can alter ones life. My mother has had four wonderful children who also know the importance of giving back because we have had a great example of a mother. Through her determination and will to survive she has overcome unimaginable circumstances. She has had a fruitful career of protecting and helping others. She married a wonderful Christian Minister and they have been together for 30 years. She has broken from the grips of defeat and now wishes to empower other orphans to do the same, to beat the odds and believe they can excel and achieve what they set their minds to.