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A sister’s keeper is one mouthful from the sea

“I can’t do this anymore!”
Those were the words of my colleague and I looked up at her wondering “what now”?
She repeated “I cannot do this work anymore”. And that was when it dawned on me what she was talking about. I was trying to block it out of my mind and I even made to her a gesture of ‘block it” but I knew I was lying to myself. We had just had a brief meeting with a lady who visited our office. I will call her Hope, since that’s all that can help her live on. Hope had made a decision earlier in her life as to how she want to live, but when I was called and met her she was not living that dream. She was holding her 2 month’s old second born baby boy who seemed more interested in watching the lights, shades, and other colors than breastfeed. He is happy, and ignorant of circumstances around him.
Hope wanted to consecrate her life to God by living as a nun. People chose different vocations in life, and hope to find God in those vocations. It could be marriage, single life or religious life. She had chosen the religious life and she was living the best of what she could until it happened. One day, some man abducted and raped her, and took her to be his 9th wife! South Sudan has been at war for a while, until the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005. The violence is not completely over, but to a large extent in most areas there is peace. But not for Hope! What does peace mean to this woman who was brutally raped, forced into marriage, ran away, was taken back and now has her second child from a man she hardly knows and fears. To make matters worse, the man tore all her certificates so now she can only say she has done some academic courses but nothing to prove. She has no resources to enable her travel to Uganda where she schooled to get some copies of certificates. She is now living with her mother and hardly able to fend for herself and her children.
How does one continue encountering these and remain sane? That was the question my colleague was alluding to. Her passion for women’s emancipation and more on gender based violence against women is an issue we have in common, no wonder she called me to also meet this young woman. As I listened to Hope amid tears that she struggled to control, the thoughts that crossed my mind were nothing hopeful. I was wondering how many more ‘HOPES’ are barely existing due to low self-esteem caused by such violations. Women’s violations during war are so common that one shudders thinking about these. Where will our sisters, mothers, be safe? This is not only in countries in conflict but common even in the so called ‘peaceful’ countries.
Last week I saw a clip aired on a Kenyan media house about gang rapes happening in some part of Nairobi. It is insane!! Why do human beings subject other human beings to such? When will women be safe? The helplessness that one feels encountering such women makes one feel like closing eyes very tight and assume it is not happening. It can get overwhelming, very sad, very draining. The saddest part for every woman knows it can happen to you, me, my sister, my mother…to any woman or girl. The ‘sadddestestest’ knowing that such perpetrators usually go scot free and continue causing harm all over.
When will it ever stop? Sometimes it feels like trying to scoop water from the sea. I am encouraged by the words of the Late Wangari Maathai, that like a humming bird I can do the little I can, everyone passionate about the cause can do something little. Get one mouthful of water from the sea. Sometimes it’s the least we can do, touch one woman’s life and be a sister’s keeper. Sometimes it is what one sister just needs.

Comments

Dear Sophie, thank you for sharing your story with us all at World Pulse. Please continue to let the world know what is happening. I can do little, but when I give a little to World Pulse or my United Methodist church for Missions, I know the money will help a little. I tell others about what is happening on the African continent regarding women. I just finished praying for ALL women in the African continent and continue to pray for you and your sisters each morning when I arise. I believe this issue has to be addressed by men telling other men that to rape a woman/girl is wrong and against the law. Next, I expect the law to be enforced. People who break the law shouldn'g be able to pay the judge money and get off.

Sophie, I genuinely have hope. Usually change happens so slowly you can only see it looking back over a few years. Through World Pulse, the world has become aware of your need for protection and rights. I will continue to hope that life gets better for you and your sisters (and my sisters).
blessings,
William

Sophie's picture

Thanks William

We can be our sister's keepers!! a day at time

Sophie Ngugi
Child of the Universe -www.sophiengugi.blogspot.com

William's picture

looking out for each other

Dear Sophie

Yes, you can look out for each other, teach your friends, children, all women, when and where it's safe to be. Don't go alone but with several other women. This matter of abusing women is a men's issue, which we will start working on. Caution and courage.
blessings,
William

HazelM's picture

Heard you.

Just wanted to say, I read what you put.
Some days, it is all any of us can do, to breathe in and out.

Sophie's picture

Thanks

Thank you..

Sophie Ngugi
Child of the Universe -www.sophiengugi.blogspot.com

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