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So last month was the month of hope and I got to interact with some of the displaced women we work with. Asked questions, one of which was on hope, what gives them hope? How is it that they are still standing despite the difficulties they constantly face?

 

Let me tell you, none of these women have it easy. Yes, you may be thinking “we all don’t have it easy”, and I dare not tell you how to feel, if anything, I encourage you to draw hope from these women who have stared death in the eye and said “not today”. If you have been receiving and reading our newsletters, we did a little feature series on hope, where two of our women gave me an insight into their world.

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One thing these women have in common is the zeal to keep on going, to work harder, and to survive so their children can survive as well.

 

When Sarah said, “I need to live for my children, so they can live too, so they can have the life I never had nor got the chance to have…” I felt that.

 

Sarah witnessed her cousin get beheaded by Boko Haram insurgents in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, and didn’t need extra prompting to flee. She fled to Lagos 7 years ago with her kids and husband. She said she can not forget the incident of 2016 where 18 people were slaughtered like goats and her brother was among those killed. This kind of memory permanently lives in one’s head rent-free.

I went along with our Programs Officer

on her monitoring and evaluation exercise where we met Sarah sewing (lest I forget, Sarah doubles as our office assistant and interpreter). she sews and trains inside her house because she hasn’t been able to afford to pay for a shop. Being one of the women Sesor empowers, she used the livelihood funds given to her to get a sewing machine, learn to sew, and is currently teaching others.

 

There is something beautiful and emotional about her house. On the wooden window plane, the children wrote their names, words of encouragement, and prayers. I asked her about it and she broke out in a beautiful wide smile and says “my children wrote that”. I strongly believe it was written to remind them that this can not be the final destination. I mean have you seen how hard their mother, Sarah works? That petite woman works two jobs to keep not just body and soul together but to also keep her kids in school so they can escape this hardship she is going through. In the midst of all these, she is still sending little money home to her aged mother and younger siblings who were too scared to run with her.

Sarah hadn't always lived in a shack house (a makeshift structure),

 they were a bit comfortable when they arrived in Lagos till they fell on hard times and could no longer pay their rent. Luckily, a landlord/landowner gave her family a documented and signed permission to stay and use the land pending his readiness to build. Hopefully, by then she would have gotten back on her feet and would not need to start running around again looking for where her family will lay their heads.

 

I have watched her with her kids and one thing I can tell you is that she is a present mother who is very intentional about achieving the goals she set for herself on giving them that better life she talks about.

 

With time I’ll write on our other women, but for now, read Sarah’s story and be encouraged.

Being displaced may have turned the worlds of these women, but they are fighting tooth and nail to righten it, not for themselves but for their children to live/lead better lives, have equal opportunities, and make something of themselves.

 

I am always so proud of our women when I’m communicating with their children and there is no language barrier. Goes to show that their mothers’ efforts and hard work are paying off.

It is also very encouraging to us at Sesor, our efforts and training are not in vain.

December 2022
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2 Comments

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