Mary Owusu has given birth to a beautiful baby boy. Everything went well, but we need some things for Mary and her baby. Please consider donating money to help us, or items that are needed. We need diapers that are size 1, bottles (Mary is unable to breast feed), formula, food for Mary and her 2 year old son, and baby powder, lotion, and oil. The baby also needs clothes, but we have clothes on the way, and have purchased a few in Ghana already. Please let people know so that we can get the items that she needs.
Erica Asantewaa is a 17 year old girl. Her baby is 1 years old. Erica was living with her grandmother because her mother and father passed away when she was a young girl. She doesn’t ever remember meeting her parents. Erica was taking care of her grandmother because she was disabled, and couldn’t care for herself. They lived deep in the bush, several miles from the nearest village. Every day, Erica would go to one of the local farms to collect cassava and plantain to sell in the local villages in order to get money to eat each day. When they got to the dry season, she could no longer get plantain and cassava to sell, so she went into the village to get a job. She got a job cutting grass for different people. She only had a cloth to wear for her clothing, and she didn’t have any under clothes. She was cutting grass for a man one day, and every time she bent over to cut the grass with her machete he could see up the cloth that was covering her. She wasn’t trying to be inappropriate, but he got turned on, and forced her to have sex with him. After she was finished, she went to tell her grandmother what had happened to her, but because her grandmother was bed ridden, she could do nothing to help Erica. The first month, her menses came, but the second month, she missed her period, so her grandmother had her take a test, and the found out that she was two months pregnant. The grandmother sent her to go tell the man that she was pregnant, but when Erica got to his house, he was gone. Her grandma started to get stressed every day because she was not sure how they would get enough money to feed everyone. When Erica was 4 months pregnant, they ate their dinner one night, and went to bed. The next morning Erica got up early and went to sweep the entire compound. When she finished, she came back to their room and found that her grandmother had passed away in the night, while she was sleeping. She was shouting and crying, and a husband and wife heard her and came to see what was going on. They saw that Erica’s grandmother had passed away, and they helped her dig a hole to bury her. Erica continued to live in the bush house by herself after her grandmother passed away, and gave birth to her baby with the help of the lady that helped her to bury her grandmother. The house that she currently lives in with her baby is made out of bamboo stalks and is still deep in the bush.If you would like to help Erica and her baby, please donate on our go fund me page.
As I have been contemplating what I should write next, or how to address unspoken questions, I have been overwhelmed by the emotions that surround those questions. The questions of where the girls live, how they will find their next meals, who they will talk to when they have any questions about being a young teenage girl, how they will raise children when they are children themselves, where they will give birth, and how they can stay safe from future attacks by men? I have been wondering and worrying about these things, and I am sure you have been too. No child deserves to grow up like this. No child should be forced to take care of themselves at such a young age. I look at my own children, and I can’t imagine them having to live on their own. Although my children are only 5 months old, and 5 years old, anything could happen at any time. If something did happen to myself or to Michael, I know for a fact that my family would step right in and make sure that my children are raised in a loving home, and that they would never have the stress of being put out into the streets to live on their own at the young age of 12 years. I know that they would not have the fear of being raped if they close their eyes at night. I know that they won’t have the fear of not knowing if they are going to be able to find food to eat, or not knowing if anyone in the world loves them. So how do we change these young girls lives? How do we show them that there is someone out there in the world who cares about them, and worries about them as if they were their own children? How do we fight for their rights, and give them a loving home to live in? How do we protect them from the dangers of the streets? We have to work together! Michael and I cannot do this on our own. We have to have the help of our friends and communities. Even small acts of kindness can make a big difference in the lives of girls who have nothing but the clothing on their backs, and the babies in their arms. I know that we can make these girls lives better. I know that we can make a change.
I realize you all have been waiting for a new story, and have been waiting for updates, so I would like to tell you about the girls now. We supplied 7 girls with food, diapers, and some personal money for an entire month! That is a huge accomplishment! We know that they need long term help, and we know that it is going to take time for us to be able to get to that point, but we will do what we can while we can. We have had so many people coming out of nowhere to help us and we appreciate everything that everyone is doing. Thank you all so much. We could not do this without you. We need your continued help and financial support. If you would like to donate, please click on the link. Please read the next post if you would like to learn about one of our new girls, Erica Asantewaa.