Latest update from Sierra Leone
Recent case study: Fatima
Fatima (not her real name) came to us at the age of 13 in July of 2019 and is now 14 years old. We met her at one of our Wednesday feeding sessions last summer and she has lived with us ever since at the children's' home in Freetown.
Fatima's father had left the family and then Fatima and her mother fell out and she was driven out of the house. With nowhere else to go she ended up living in the street and homeless. When we met her she accepted our help and came to the children's home to live with us and she started attending school and settled down and doing well.
Sometime later we realised that she was pregnant and the story came out of what had happened to her. She had been gang raped by a group of men and boys but had kept it to herself. During this incident she had become pregnant. She was unable to identify any of the men involved and so no prosecution or justice has been possible.
We did trace her mother and try and reunite them some weeks ago but the mother now realised she was pregnant and said she was a disgrace to the family and refused to have her back.
She was now heavily pregnant in January 2020 and seriously did not want to have the baby. Secretly and unbeknownst to us she found a 'witch doctor' that provided her with some herbs to drink that would cause a miscarriage. Over last weekend we realised that she was very ill and rushed her to hospital where the doctors attempted to save the baby. Unfortunately it was already dead inside of her and so was removed by the doctors. After two days she has come back to the home and is recovering.
This is obviously very traumatic for her and she will receive counselling from our staff and we will try again to reunite her with her mother. Sadly without the pregnancy or a baby it might actually prove easier this time, but she is a reformed character who is studying well at school and otherwise life is looking more positive.
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