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.
Mary Owusu is a 14 year old girl. Her sister is Grace Achiaa. Her mother was crazy, and she passed away. The two sisters were living with their grandmother. Their Grandmother had diabetes, which caused blindness and a stroke, and she passed away. When the landlord found out that the grandmother was dead and the two girls were living in the house alone, she kicked both girls out into the streets. They didn’t have any other family, so they were forced to live in the streets. They both went their separate ways. Mary was 12 years old at the time, and she was living in a wood store that was under construction. Some men found out that she was living there, and made plans to rape her. They gave her some drugs that are similar to a date rape drug, which caused her to lose consciousness. She laid in the streets all day before anyone took notice, and they took her to the hospital where they were able to wake her up and help her recover. She doesn’t remember being raped, or anything else during her period of unconsciousness. No one would pay her hospital bills, so she had to live and work at the hospital doing cleaning and stuff in order to work off her bills. After about a month, she found out she was pregnant and the hospital did not want to be responsible for her, so they decided that her bills were paid, and kicked her back into the streets. She went back to living in the same building because she didn’t have anywhere else to go. A lady saw her living there, and took pity on her and gave Mary her porch to live on. She gave birth to a boy on the porch with the help of a local midwife. One day a man came along and told her that he would help to take care of her and her baby. Mary was so relieved for the help and took him up on his offer. He helped her for about a year and a half when one day he came to her and asked her to have sex with him. She told him that she would not do that, and because the man had taken care of her for so long, he felt that he had the right to have sex with Mary, and he raped her. She ended up pregnant for a second time at the age of 14. They cannot find the guy anywhere. We delivered food to her on March 16th, 2016, and will try to get her a place to live that is not a porch. Richard is actively searching with his church members to find a place for her. We will be getting her some education as well so that she can support herself.
Good evening! I am positive that this update is the one you have all been waiting for. 🙂 we were finally able to deliver some food to two of our girls today. We delivered food to Ruth Opoku and her baby, and Mary Owusu (we haven’t shared her story yet). Tomorrow we should be able to do two more deliveries. We want to say a very big thank you to my brother in law Bernard Osei Bonsu, and to our friend Richard. They have been doing a lot of the ground work in Ghana, and we couldn’t do this without them. We wanted to show you where some of your hard earned money is going, and that we appreciate you all very much. We love each and every one of you. May God bless you.
There is always something new happening on a daily basis. We now have 12 girls that have been referred to us, and there is no possible way that we can help them all until we get more established. Our combined incomes and donations can only go so far. We are currently helping 4 of the girls, and are considering taking on one more. We are working as fast as we can to get everything organized so that we can become a 501 c3 non profit organization. Each step is its own process, which makes things much slower than we would like. As soon as we have non profit status, we can start applying for grant money. That should help things a ton.
Yesterday we heard such a sad story. We have a baby in the hospital in an incubator fighting to live. The babies mother died giving birth, and her parents have passed away as well. This makes this sweet innocent baby an orphan. I told my husband that “we have to adopt this baby too” he laughed at me. 🙁 while I know that we cannot adopt another baby at the moment, I want to just say yes! How can I let this baby go live in an orphanage? It just makes me so sad. We are looking for a couple of people who might want to be monthly sponsors for this baby. If we could get 5 people to give $10.00 each month, we can help this baby with formula, diapers, and maybe we could even convince my nanny to take on another child 😂. If you are interested in being a sponsor for this baby, please send me an email and we will let you know all the details. I am hoping that in the next couple of days, we will have more information about the baby, and that the hospital will let our photographer in to get some pictures. We will post pictures as soon as we have some.
As we continue on the journey of trying to help young rape victims in Ghana we keep hearing horrible stories that just make me want to cry. They make me want to borrow hundreds of thousand of dollars to go fix their situations immediately. While I know that this is not reasonable, and while I know that I can’t currently help them all, I want to so badly. I will continue to take one step at a time and to trust that God has put me where I need to be at this moment. I will trust that eventually I won’t have to turn anyone away and that I will be able to help all of them with time. I have been deliberating all day about the story that I am about to tell you. It is graffic and horrible and I will warn you that it will probably be hard to read, so if you don’t want to continue, I will completely understand. Tonight I am going to tell you the story of a girl named Sandra Agyei.
Sandra Agyei is a 17 year old girl. We are still trying to figure out if she is living in the streets, or if she has someone that is letting her stay with them, but we will know by tomorrow what her current situation is. Sandra grew up living in a room with her parents. I am going to describe how these rooms work in Ghana so that you can better understand the story. A room is not very big, and is basically a cinder block square room with a couple of Windows and a door. There generally aren’t any partitions or walls, so the whole room is open. There is sometimes electricity in these rooms, but no running water or bathrooms. As you can imagine, having any sort of intimate relationships in these rooms with children living in there can be tricky. Well as Sandra got older, her parents started sending her to sleep outside when they wanted to be intimate and would call her back in after they were finished. On one of these nights, a man was walking by and asked Sandra why she was sleeping outside. She told the man that her parents had sent her out, and he invited her to come sleep in his room that night. She quickly obliged because as you can imagine, sleeping outside is not very comfortable. That night she stayed safe, and returned home the next morning. A few days later her parents kicked her out of the house again and instead of sleeping outside, she went and knocked on the same mans door again. That night she was not so lucky and the man raped her and ran off. She decided that she was going to go home and tell her parents what had happened and ask that they not send her outside to sleep anymore, but when she got home she knocked on the door and nobody would answer. After knocking for some time, she called to some people and had them help her break the door down. When they broke down the door and looked inside, both of her parents were dead. They had been struck by lightening and were burned to death in the middle of the night. You can imagine how horrible this was for her. Not long after, she found out that she was pregnant. She is pretty far along in her pregnancy, but hopefully we can get her a little prenatal care before she gives birth.
I hope this story will touch your hearts tonight.