Fiona was 13 years old and living on the streets when we met her.
This is her story…
Fiona’s family life was not a happy one. Her father is an alcoholic. The family lived in poverty and the little money they did get was quickly spent on feeding his habit. Fiona was sent to stay with her elder sister when her father became abusive, but even then the situation continued to escalate and the poverty worsened. With no active foster care system or formal help available, Fiona had no way to escape.
Eventually, at 12 years old, Fiona gathered the courage to leave. She moved to town and lived on the streets, looking for small jobs to survive. At night Fiona slept in bus shelters or under small shopping stalls.
We met Fiona one year later. She was a miserable and timid street child with no dreams or education. Fiona was very vulnerable to being trafficked – our staff think it’s amazing that she lasted so long on the street without being taken. After getting to know Fiona and validating her story, she moved in to our Arua safe home and joined the Hope Street family.
That was three years ago. Today, Fiona is excelling in school. Last year she scored the top mark in her class! She loves playing netball and skipping rope. Fiona is healthy, happy, and she calls her house-mother ‘Mum’ and the other children her siblings.
Recently our staff have been making trips with Fiona to visit her sister and relatives. While it may not be possible for Fiona to be completely repatriated to her family home, we’re working to re-build the family relationships.
There are many other children like Fiona living in our safe home. Unfortunately we’re low on funding this year – at the time of this post we’re short by $5000 NZD to cover basic project costs for 2015. Fiona and the other children need assistance, if you can help please visit www.hopestreet.org/donate to give. Over 90% of each donation goes to the field!
Fiona (right) in her bedroom.
Fiona playing the drums.