(A member was asked to assist a young teenage girl who had been raped.  A wonderful relationship has grown between the member and teenage girl.  The girl is an aspiring journalist and wanted to share her story.  Her story will give you some insight as to some of the ordeals some of the children in our Movement face on a daily basis.  Her positivity and cheerful manner serves as a reminder of the power of a relationship with God).

I am Thandi.  I am 16. I am a mother.  I am a survivor.  I am a Christian.  And this is my story.

I was raped by three gang members.  My payment for attending a “privileged” high school outside of my community.  The result?  A baby girl and a baby boy.  Twins.  

At first I was ashamed to tell anyone what had happened and instead lived in fear of people finding out.  My mother is a drug addict, my father is in prison and I am raised by my grandmother.

On my way home from school I was raped because I dared to accept the generosity of a kind lady who saw my thirst for education, and paid for me to attend an academic school outside of my community.  When I realised that I was pregnant I approached our counsellor at school.  She taught me to love myself and that I was not responsible for the rape.  

Many people wanted me to abort the babies but why?  They are not responsible for the deed, they are just a by-product.  My babies give meaning to my life.  I love them. 

I will return to school next year, with the generosity of my sponsor, and become a journalist.  My grandmother is my guiding light, my strength in life.  She is my hero. 

We struggle and most times only eat once a day BUT I will survive because I am THANDI and I have a right to live my dream. 

(Story submitted by Thandi – pseudonym)