I met Loveness, a member of New Hope for Girls Organization, in July 2016. Consoler — NHGO’s founder and mom to 32 rescued girls — asked me how old I thought Loveness was. I looked at her small frame and guessed 6 or 7 years old. In fact, Loveness was 12. She had bright eyes and a quick mind, but her body was tiny from years of neglect and lack of nutrition. Loveness had been discarded by her mother a few years before and left with her poor grandmother who lived in a one-room shanty. The grandmother struggled to sustain herself, let alone a child – even her own grandchild. Loveness didn’t attend school and spent her days wandering the dusty streets of Consoler’s Dar es Salaam neighborhood to look for food.
Consoler noticed Loveness, learned her story, and saw her spark. In April 2016, Consoler welcomed Loveness into the New Hope for Girls “Give Back to the Neighborhood” classroom for school readiness. In three months’ time, Loveness was reading at her grade level and excelling in all subjects.
In early June, Loveness stopped appearing for class. After several days of absence, Consoler went looking for her. The shanty hut her grandmother had lived in was empty. Neighbors reported that the grandmother had left the area but had not taken Loveness with her. Loveness was left to the streets. Consoler assigned two of the older girls from the New Hope for Girls home to begin searching for her. It took two weeks before she was found sleeping in the doorway of a shop near the city dump where she’d been foraging for food. Consoler and Eliya welcomed Loveness into their healing home, bringing the household count to 36.
The Loveness I met in July showed no signs of such stories. She was vibrant and had a sense of humor. She was back in school and, for the first time ever, could count on three meals a day, and just as important, safe, loving parents.
Loveness is just one of 32 girls currently in the New Hope for Girls house. Each of the girls has their own story — but rather than being defined by their past and the unimaginable situations they have lived through, they are looking forward to the future. African Road is partnering with New Hope for Girls Organization to start a wholesale sewing supply store that will generate income for the girls’ home for years to come. You can learn more here about Consoler and New Hope for Girls on our Global Giving page.