One of my dear women came to find me and thank me for what we had done as a shop last week on the sudden death of her brother. I gave her my personal sympathy and asked about what happened. Her brother came home from work, got on his bicycle and went to collect water as he saw that his home needed some. He was in an accident and killed instantly.
A lady walked in our gate at the shop. I saw her walk in and thought she had walked through the property to the other side. Minutes later, Benjamin came to tell me that in fact she had come looking for help. She lives in the greater neighbourhood. I went out the back to meet her. She was sitting with two tiny babies in her lap, and gulping down two cups of sorghum porridge that had been made for morning break. Th
e twins, a boy and a girl, are 1 month old. They have been out of the hospital for 1 week and weigh just over 2kgs each. She has a 4.5 year old girl at home.
After I was sitting the office, I turned to Teddy, my manager , a young Rwandan gal, and said... 'It always makes me so conflicted and I really don't know what to do with these scenerios.'
You see Teddy also told me that the brother killed in the first tragedy was drunk when he came home from his work as a bicycle taxi. He did see that they needed water and went for it - commendable for sure ... and never made it back home to a 2 year old child and a heavily pregnant 'wife'. (I would guess that they are not married). She is now a 'widow' and alone
In the second case, she said her 'husband' left her when he found out they were having twins. The local authorities only help those with triplets ... not twins. She too is alone.
My conversation with Teddy... it always seems that the poorer the woman, the least uneducated ... marriage / relationships are not about love but about belonging to someone - bounded to them by sharing children BUT most of the time there is not love, commitment, future AND they feel they do not have the power to make choices that are best for them. That said... there is lots of work to be done in educating that it is in fact their right to choose what is best for them, their bodies and their families.
Makes me realize again that what we do at J.Lynn's - giving vulnerable women their first job and opportunity to be who God wants them to be ... is so important and part of God's plan of redeeming plan to live in fullness of life no matter life circumstances.
Tomorrow is another day ... wonder what will come my way.