We got a call from local authorities in early November about a girl who had just given birth who was living under the small roof of a video shanty. Esther and her baby were very sick.
We got her and her baby to a clinic, where she was diagnosed with a bad infection due to childbirth complications, and the baby was also ill. Both were treated, and we moved them temporarily into a small garage of a now-closed nonprofit who allowed us the space for a short time. Mama Santa visited and brought food several times a day, and made sure that Esther and the baby took their medications.
When we opened the Ross House in mid-November, Esther was one of our first residents.
She cried for an entire week.
After just a month, Esther had gained weight, gotten well, and was full of smiles.
She enrolled in our first Skills for Life, choosing hairdressing. She also learned a “small skill”, how to make samosas, and was given the tools she’d need to start a small business while she learned her “big skill” over four months.
Esther graduated from the Ross House at the end of January, having completed our Sexual Trauma Workbook and our basic financial and business literacy training. When she moved in with her sister nearby, she took a month of food with her for the household, as well as all she would need to run her samosa business in the morning and attend the hairdressing class in the afternoon.
While her brother-in-law eventually decided he didn’t want Esther and Ella living with them (we moved her in with a family from church), Esther continues to thrive. She is excelling in the advanced class, and working extremely hard on her skills and creativity.
ESTHER IS NOW ALMOST UNRECOGNIZABLE!
She’s the one on the left… To be honest, when Ronald sent me this photo, I didn’t realize who was in it!
This is real change, and thanks to S4L, lasting change.
The Ross House family expands with every graduate — and they remain our family, with access to medical care and food, continued counseling, and opportunities.
MAY 26, 2021 UPDATE
On Saturday, Esther taught a skills workshop on how to make and sell samosas to 15 young people!! She did an amazing job, earned some money, and gained a huge amount of confidence. AMAZING!!
THIS IS OUR WHY!
AND THIS IS YOUR IMPACT!
Thanks to you and donors like you, we are able to create dramatic, deep-rooted change that will affect not only girls like Esther, but their children, their extended families, and their community.
AND THAT’S TEN EIGHTEEN’S MISSION: TO CHANGE THE CULTURE OF EXTREME POVERTY FOR THE YOUTH OF UGANDA.