“I felt like no one loved me.” Emily says.
Her words are quiet, devoid of any dramatization, but not devoid of pain.
They’re the kind of words that break your heart to hear out of the mouth of someone so young. At Emily’s age, she should be playing with her friends and focusing on her studies. She should be planning for university one day and learning all that she can. She shouldn’t be sitting on a stoop alone in rural South Africa, wiping away tears with the back of her hand, wondering if her parents will ever come back for her.
Going to school used to be one of Emily’s favorite things. She prioritized getting a good education and wanted to plan for her future. But when her parents abandoned her, everything changed.
She moved in with her grandmother. On top of dealing with the trauma of losing both her parents and her home, Emily’s grandmother made life very difficult.
“My grandmother treated me like a slave,” Emily says. “She drank a lot and screamed at me. I couldn’t work on my studies at all. She said my parents never sent her any money, so I had to pay her back for feeding me. She said I couldn’t go to school anymore, and that made me sad.” Emily uses her purple t-shirt to rub the tears out of her eyes.
She dreamed about her parents showing up one day to take her back, but they never came.
A chance for home and for family
Emily heard about a children’s home, supported by Orphans Promise. Today, she lives there and is able to continue to pursue her studies and helps out with chores around the home like laundry and cleaning.
“I left home and came here,” she says. “They took me in and helped me go back to school. This is where I finally found a real family and a good home.”
For Emily, to be able to study and feel safe and supported is something she doesn’t take for granted. Sitting in her yellow and green school uniform, she beams as she clutches her school books.
“I’m really happy here … Thank you for giving me a home.”
Thank you for giving Emily, and other children like her, a home. Thank you for giving them a chance. Give a gift to help another Emily today.