#impact Letters from anywhere in our world.
(for those who still doubt the importance of #philanthropy)
If they don't do it, who will?
Bébédjia, February 18, 2023
Paula Peña writes from Chad
Patron and development cooperation manager
Foundation "El Compromiso" - project: enganCHADos
"The lesser evil.
While still a teenager, her uncles (since she was an orphan) decided who she had to marry. By giving her away in marriage, they ensured a regular income for the husband.
The man she was married to was HIV-positive, and not only did he father her a child, he infected both of them.
She sought medical help, and thus began her journey with the missionary Daughters of the Risen Christ, responsible for the Medical and Social Psychological Support Center (APMS) for AIDS patients in this corner of the world. Both she and her son receive treatment and follow-up at her center.
When her first husband died of illness, her uncles married her off again (there is no easier way to keep getting paid without working), this time with an "old man" who already had 3 or 4 other wives, much older than her.
Despite her beauty, her character and her youth, she was never the old man's favorite (thank God).
The main woman lives in the capital and the rest are scattered throughout the country. The husband spent most of his time with one of the other women, but when he returned to Bébédjia, he would rape her and abandon her again, without ensuring her support or that of her first husband's son. Things did not change when, as a result of those violations, she began to have children. She has up to six of this husband, who continues without making sure that they have the means to subsist.
The missionaries gave her a job so she could take care of her growing brood. And, thanks to the control that they have been doing of their disease, the rest of their children are not infected.
The children, who are beautiful and smiling, belong to the sponsorship program of the "Study in Chad" project of our foundation. Each of her children goes to a good school and eats boule with sauce and meat or fish every day at APMS. They attend reinforcement classes on Wednesdays and during the vacation period they continue to train.
The eldest son left the program a couple of years ago and went to work in the market. She helps her mother and siblings by buying them things they need (food, soap, clothes, a rug...) but she doesn't give her money because if her stepfather comes home, in addition to raping her, he will take it from her.
Periods without a husband are the best. She has the support of the sisters, she has a job and his children go to school and are fed). She lives in a tiny room with the 7, but it's enough for her. The other women and the more than thirty half-siblings of their children are faring better. The man distributes his possessions while he is alive to make sure that the other families do well when he is not around.
She hates him. However, the old man's health worries her a lot.
Why should she fear that the man who rapes her and then abandons her will finally go to hell?
It is simple.
Since they are Muslims, if the creep dies, she will have to remain locked in the “room” where she lives, without changing her clothes for 4 months. You will not be able to wash, nor will you be able to leave the shack to relieve yourself, to go to the market or to work during the period of mourning. In cases where there is no one who can support the family (your case), the time of confinement can be reduced but, in any case, you must remain self-abducted for a full 40 days and, subsequently and until you have completed 4 full months, You can only leave to go to work and return directly.
But the drama does not end here.
Once the 4 months have elapsed and since she is still very young and fertile, her uncles will dispose of her life again and will remarry her to another man who pays well. And if that man does not live in Bébédjia, she will have to leave. You will stop working and drop out of HIV monitoring. And with her will leave her 6 youngest children who will inevitably lose the possibility of continuing to study in good schools and eat every day because they will always be the children of another and their mother, the woman stigmatized for being HIV-positive.
So, even if he doesn't deserve it, may the old man live many more years. May he stay in the capital with his favorite woman and may his health prevent him from making the journey to Bébédjia.
May he live at least long enough for this beautiful woman to stop being so young and profitable."
#philantropy #changemakers #charity