FEATURED ON BUSINESSWOMAN MAGAZINE
The Stella Project – Microloans
|Valarie was raised by a single mother some 300 miles away from Nairobi. Despite the struggle her single mother managed to pay for Valarie to graduate school.
Being the first-born she saw how her mother was struggling to raise the rest of her siblings. Her mother washed people’s clothes and sometimes tilling land to support her family. This troubled Valarie. She started looking for manual jobs; sometimes she would get the job that she says was physically hard.
Valarie became friends with women of the street (which she didn’t understand at the time). They were beautiful and had beautiful things that they said men gave to them. This lifestyle intrigued her and she thought about it for some time.
After a few months, Valarie gave in and decided to follow the girls’ route. She narrates:
|“I started engaging into casual sex with men in exchange for cash. I used drugs and alcohol in order to give me courage to approach men; these horribly controlled my mind and I would sometimes go out in bars to strip naked and have sex with anyone, even men as old as my father. I was so desperate for anyone and anything that would support me. My mum was struggling with children – I needed to see if I can help, which I did. I would send money home, but my mum didn’t know how I was making the money.’’ In 2011, while on her normal route, she met a man who not only paid her well, but also looked at her situation and started showing her affection, compassion, and a promise to care. He became a companion who listened, understood, and shared the desire for a better future. Valarie moved in with him, thinking that they would have a better life together. Together, they moved to Nairobi.
After a while, Valarie found out that she was pregnant. After she shared the good news, he advised her to abort the baby as it was going to ruin their plan. She refused and found that the partnership transitioned into an abusive relationship.
Many times, she was alone in their house. Sometimes with no food. When he came home, he would come home drunk and threaten her life. She was scared. Valarie spoke to us of a daily physical abuse and constant emotional dominance that she was subjected into. A really sad situation. She sought for help from neighbours but no one was willing and ready to help. She even called home asking her mum to take her back, but when her mum realised that she was pregnant, she totally refused. She had warned Valarie and even urged her to persevere the struggle they were in but she couldn’t listen. Her mum completely refused and claimed she would not welcome another ‘burden’ and that Valarie needed to pay the price of disobedience.
|THE DAY EVERYTHING CHANGED:
The day came when Valarie decided to run away from the oppressive man without an idea to where she was going. It is at this point that she came across the HOME OF HOPE SIGN and called for help.
Valarie started talking to the Home of Hope counselling staff. Valerie was helped with a temporary residence from a nearby member of Home Church. She began to see that her and her baby were safe now. Valarie was helped to heal emotionally and was medically examined.
|In 2012 she delivered a beautiful baby boy. A Canadian was able to sponsor her through Home of Hope. In honour of this, Valarie’s sponsor named the baby. They named him Akida Hasa Busu (meaning chief, special, kiss, peace). Valarie was later helped with microloan to support herself and the needs of the baby.
Today Valarie is transformed. She started a small business with the Microloan from Home of Hope. She gave her life to Christ and is committed to church. She spends her time with other young women who want a transition out of prostitution. Her testimony is very encouraging to these young women.
|Valarie wants to be a good role model to other young girls, she wants to be a counselor to reach out with the many who are suffering. She has found love both in her relationship with God and Home Church family who love and accept her for who she was and is.
Valarie is one of the few fortunate women to escape the dangerous life of prostitution. There are so many more women like Valarie who remain trapped. Home of Hope needs support to reach out to more young women like Valarie.
Thank you Home of Hope and sponsors for making stories like this one possible.