Christine’s story

15 February 2021

Christine is the first born in a family of 3 girls. She is 7 years old and lives in Aqwalinga, a small village in Amudat district. Christine’s parents are raised in extreme poverty and did not succeed in offering a better life to their children. They are both addicted to alcohol. The couple rise late in the morning, tries to gather some fire wood and sells this in the neighbouring town. The proceeds are mostly spent in the local bar. Meanwhile their daughters of 7, 5, and 1 year old are at home together.

Christine and her 5 year old sister were present at the church service when CCA met them. The girls looked shabby and thin. Quit soon CCA paid them a visit at home. The situation was shocking. The family lives in a very small and filthy cottage, which seems to be on the verge of collapsing. The house is build on the land of the church because the family has not got any possessions and does not farm. The children look malnourished. On a wood fire is a pan with a handful of corn and beans, a meal for the entire family.

When Christine learns that she can go to a boarding school through CCA, she is very happy. She can barely comprehend. Yet there is one stumbling stone. Christine’s parents. The parents are not happy that Christine will attend school, because there won’t be anyone at home to do the housekeeping and to take care of the little ones, when they are hanging around in the bar. When the girl is at school for just a week, schools close because of COVID-19 measures. The children go home.

Not much later Christine falls seriously ill. Her mother goes with her to the hospital, but she can not pay the costs of medical care. The situation gets worse and worse, but Christine’s parents decide to take her home without any medication. Poverty does not leave them a different choice.

Fortunately, the HFC team hears about Christine’s bad situation. They take her to hospital for a thorough check-up. She is diagnosed with tuberculosis. The girl has been hospitalized for three weeks and receives medicine for 6 months. To ensure a good effect of these medicines, they are to be taken with a balanced diet. A diet Christine’s family can not offer her. Therefore Christine is placed out of home. She stays in the catholic school for girls Kalas the rest of the year together with 5 other vulnerable girls. There Christine gets medical care, clothes, nutrition and the attention she needs. Gradually we see her getting stronger. Her mother comes by a few times to see how her daughter is doing. Fortunately the medicines and the nutrition generate the much wanted effect. After 6 months Christine is cured !

Christine enjoys learning and easily gets in touch with the children at school. She hopes that her sister can also go to school soon, so they can face a better future together.

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