Trafficking/Sexual Abuse and Rape
Hope House: Love Reconciles Families
Among the rural poor, an unmarried daughter who gets pregnant creates a family crisis. Enough of a crisis that, at times, hurt fathers take out their anger on their unmarried, pregnant daughters. Why? The pregnancy, when butting up against village norms, creates great shame that the community directs toward the father. Fathers can react violently to that shame. And then there’s the added financial pressure: hospital and other medical costs are very real; they are unexpected and there are no family financial reserves. Worry about having enough food for another mouth adds to the stress.
Orphan Voice partners helped a young, pregnant girl whose dad temporarily turned his back on her. In fact, when he learned that she was pregnant, he forced her to leave home. Distraught and no one to help her, she turned to Orphan Voice.
Our partners sent us to help such as these. So, we provided the mother with emotional support and acceptance, a temporary place to live at Hope House, and saw that she had good food, vitamins and prenatal care. She began to stabilize. We then reached out to the mother’s dad to bring reconciliation to the two. In time, her dad “cooled down”– helped greatly by Orphan Voice’s financial help. In the end, he accepted his daughter back into the family home. Next, we reached out the to birth father and his family. After several conversations, there is now dialogue between the families and some financial support coming to the mother from the birth father. His parents also now offer their support and want to know the baby.
In this situation, Orphan Voice was able to help the teen-age mother, her baby, and we played a reconciling role between the birth mother and her dad; between the birth mother and birth father and between the two families. While the situation is not perfect, it’s much better than it would have been without our involvement. Without that involvement, the prematurely born child could easily have been abandoned to orphanage life to be raised by low-paid strangers.
Instead, he will be raised by his mother and grandparents and will know his father and paternal grandparents. He has a family.
Orphan Voice helps young girls like this continually through its Hope House program. We don’t know when the phone will ring; we only know that it will.
Most of the girls and women who have benefitted from Hope House have been raped or trafficked. Thankfully, neither happened to this birth mom, but she still needed help. If you would like support this outreach, click here.
We Will Care: Betrayal Transformed
Ca was a true orphan. Born in the countryside, she was very poor – and pregnant. She had become pregnant by a visiting Vietnamese-American who left her when he found out the news.
Facing eviction from her one room home, she came to Orphan Voice’s Central Office last week to plead for help. In her words: “My pockets and stomach are empty.” Late in her rent, her landlord insisted that she pay immediately or leave–even after she begged for mercy. Orphan Voice staff needed 12 hours before they could answer.
Despondent, Ca took this request to come back in 12 hours as a “no” and went to her last friend for help. She had been to several people already, only to be turned down over and over. Her last friend replied in the same way: she had no money to give.
Thinking that her last ray of hope was gone, Ca walked home in the rain with tears streaming down her face. She concluded that it would be better to kill herself now, so that she and her baby would not die of hunger later. She sobbed uncontrollably.
But before Ca could formulate a plan to end her life, Orphan Voice staff reached her by phone with the news that saved her life. She cried into the phone, but these were tears of joy! And great relief.
When our van pulled up to get Ca, she had no home. Indeed, her pockets were empty, and her stomach was empty. At Hope House, she found acceptance, support, food and medical care.
In time, her baby was born and they are living together as an intact family today.