Our girls come to Mercy House broken and abused; it’s hard to describe the hopeless conditions of slum-life, where daily survival is the only option. The oppression of poverty is strong and difficult to escape. This is one of the main reasons we focus on the complete holistic healing of each girl, we seek total transformation through Christ, quality rather than quantity.
Offering unconditional (sometimes tough) love, support and encouragement are crucial for each girl’s shattered self esteem. Besides the powerful force of poverty, there’s also the potential abuse for girls who come of age.
“For many girls in developing countries, adolescence is characterized by high risk for early and unwanted sexual activity, forced marriage, and early pregnancy-related events. Many young girls view their bodies as working “capital”, particularly those with little education and few economic advantages. . . Creating opportunities for girls to develop self-esteem, master new skills, and formulate a sense of bodily integrity may be critical to improving girls’ health and self-image.” –Research source
It’s been typical for girls new to our program to care very little for their appearance, hygiene and overall body image.
But as inner transformation begins to take place, we are seeing this paradigm shift.
As a young woman and new mother, there’s just not much that compares with feeling pretty. We budget a few dollars each month for our girls to have their hair braided. It’s culturally important and we want to honor tradition, as well as help our girls feel like the outside matches the inside that’s being renewed.
We are also happy to offer an extra job to a skilled local mother. Today she attached new donated hair weaves and our girls are thrilled with their new look!
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
I’m surrounded by beauty.
P.S. A certain someone watched with wide-eyed wonder and got her own mini Kenyan makeover ….