This blog post is dedicated to a woman who walked in to Gigdev (Girls Growth and Development) off the street today. She came in because she saw the girls sewing on their machines. Madam Selina greeted her. The woman looked presentable with clean clothes. We noticed however that one of her arms had been amputated, and she had burns on her body. She is young, perhaps 18 or 19 years old and was carrying a baby with her on her back. After a short discussion in dagbani, Madam Selina told me she was horrified at what she was hearing. The woman agreed to be filmed for Tzedek as we had the camera with us, and so there will be a video coming soon of what I will be writing but for now I will try and explain her story here.
The woman's mother passed away when she was young, and for an unexplicable reason someone amputated her arm in her village. She then ran away alone and lived homeless. A man professed to help her but got her pregnant, leaving her to take care of the child. Since then, the woman came to central Tamale without any relatives and was helped by a lady who let her sleep on the floor of her bar at night. However, during the day she had to beg for food. Her baby is not yet on solids, but she has to care for her too.
Additionally, when asked about her burns, the woman stated that she was an uncontrolled epileptic (not on medication) and had fallen into a fire during a fit. This is especially dangerous because the women carry their babies on their backs here, and the baby could have been burnt too. Not to mention the potential death that could have occurred.
This woman through her own courage came to Gigdev to ask for help. Luckily, Gigdev should be able to help her, to look after her child at the nursery, give her shelter and teach her a skill/literacy. I was overwhelmed today by the benevolence of the Gigdev staff and the organisation as a whole.
For anyone reading please visit the new facebook group set up to publicise this amazing organisation.