| By Sereti Nenkai Sempele |
Being in COP has been a whole new experience to me by itself, meeting new people, giving back to the community and serving them has proved to be very exciting and mind blowing.
Last Saturday, the 4th of May, I got a chance to visit Wings of Compassion, a little but cosy home for young mums in Marurui. There, I was shocked by the realities of life. I’ve grown up in a stable family where our father protects us and when he is away our uncles take the role and would try their best for us not to feel any void. I grew up knowing step mothers look after their step children as theirs. The young girls started telling their stories and all I could do was listen in total disbelief to stories of fathers and uncles who had raped their daughters. All my life I am yet to see girls as brave and forgiving as these teenage mums. This taught me the importance of forgetting the past and keeping in mind that the future holds so much good than we think.
Some of these young girls had lost hope after the incidents that happened to them and others even thought of killing themselves, but here they were singing with us happily and telling their stories. They even taught me a song that I’ve learnt to be singing in the morning that “I’m somewhere in the future and I’m gonna look much better than I look right now.” WOW! I never expected such zeal for life and happiness from young girls who have undergone cases like gang rape, incest and all that brutality of life.
Aside from that I had so much fun playing with their young kids, singing with them and exchanging stories and even just being with them. The many games we played took me back to my beautiful childhood and how nice it was. Being with them taught me how to appreciate the little pleasures in life such as being a baby and really getting to experience it as many of them became parents before they could even experience childhood, being in a good school or having a good family. I really thank God for opening my eyes to the blessings I haven’t been counting. Community Outreach Program (COP) is just the place to be!