11 Jul 2011

Stories of Addis: The Mother of 'B'

We met the mother of B about two years ago. We went to visit her in her shack, a room built out of waste on the piece of land belonging to her family.
B’s mother had been raped by a man when she was living at home with her family. He left her pregnant and infected her with HIV. Her family threw her out of the house and one day she was hit by a car and one of her legs was damaged.  By way of compensation this man built her the shack she lives in.
When we met her, B’s mother made a big impact on us. She was so thin, so unhappy and desperate. Her family would pass by the door and look at her in disgust without speaking to her, something which hurt her profoundly. The mother of B wanted to give up her son for adoption and go away to die in a monastery.  She had no more strength to carry on fighting.

B was entered in the sponsorship programme and we provided B’s mother with a lady to help her with household duties and take B to school.  B’s mother started to have hope. There was an improvement in her health and state of mind and she became stronger in all respects because prior to the sponsorship she deprived herself of food so that her son could eat and she was stuck in a deep depression. Her leg even improved.

At a school meeting for the parents, B’s mother was seated in the front row. She was wearing nice clothes that had been sent to her by her son’s sponsors and some lovely shoes that they had also sent her which helped with her leg problem. She had had braids put in her hair and looked really pretty. My colleague – who knew nothing about her or her past – asked me "Who is that posh looking mother?"
From time to time B’s mother would show me her shoes from underneath her skirt which amused me very much.  When the meeting finished she came over to greet me. She is always very affectionate with me, as I am with her and she is one of those Abugida mothers that I find irresistible.  I asked her how she was and she told me she was very well. She also said that her family was still not speaking to her but that it didn’t bother her anymore as she was happy with her son and didn’t take any notice of them.  B’s mother was recently chosen as the best mother at the school by joint vote of the teachers.

Just think that this is the same woman who wanted to die two years ago.

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