Picture our little one, spending her days and nights away from any form of safety at all. The mud that stuck to her body as the rains passed through. The rancid smell of the many men that forced her to believe she should have sex with them. Her ‘smile’ was saved for the many many truck drivers who passed through their village – her payment for the heinous sexual abuse these adults deemed ok to inflict on her many times a day, was a sweetie or two – many didn’t even ‘pay’ her that. She was filthy, survived like an animal and riddle with disease. She was raped, beaten and robbed of her childhood while adults in her village shared their disgust about HER behaviour. She was SIX years old and this had been her daily routine for years!
Fast forward to today and one of the things she is so ‘strange’ about is that when she is given a sweet, along with our other girls, she wants to hide it, and then look at it and touch it. She rarely eats her sweets. I wonder what memories the ‘gift’ of a sweet has for this damaged angel. I wonder if she imagines that one day we will extract ‘payment’ from her for these sweeties. I can only imagine the fear and anger in her beautiful little head – because I have NEVER lived a moment in her life.