Following the death of her parents, *Amara was forced into early marriage at just 16 years old. Forced to abandon her independence and all her hopes and dreams for the future.
Escaping an unhappy marriage
At this young age, Amara was unprepared for marriage but she tried to adapt to the new reality of life. Then her situation deteriorated further as her husband displayed a tendency to drink excessively and she sustained physical abuse.
To escape this horrendous situation, Amara was planning to run away. But when she became pregnant, she was forced to stay, trapped in a marriage where abuse was a regular feature. After giving birth, Amara reluctantly stayed for a few months longer before fleeing to Nazret with her baby boy, *Yafet.
Raised in a small rural village, city life was a daunting prospect for Amara but offered an escape. Unfortunately, Amara and Yafet failed to find safe haven in Nazret. She was unable to find employment or shelter and ended up trying to survive on the streets with her new born baby.
“There were days in which I could not eat anything. I was glad if I had something for Yafet. There were so many disappointments in the street life, but all I cared about was him, so I survived all the obstacles,” Amara says.
Amara was beginning to lose all hope. Then one day, she heard about GOAL’s ChildSPACE programme. She was told that people living on the street like her would get unique support from the programme. Amara jumped at the opportunity.
“The support that I got from the programme was unlike anything that I knew before. They provided me with everything they could such as access to personal hygiene, and most of all I liked the life skill and short business training,” Amara says.
“In less than a couple of months, they transformed me from a helpless sad street mom to an ambitious and empowered person who is ready to work and change her life,” Amara added.
Hopes for the future
After finishing her training Amara received support and materials to start her own snack and hot drinks business. GOAL’s ChildSPACE programme also provided her with regular business consultations and support to ensure her business was on the right track.
Amara is finally enjoying the independence that was robbed from her at 16. Her business is respected, well known in the area, and helping Amara to provide for Yafet, who is now two years old.
Amara now hopes that her son can get an education and enjoy the opportunities that were unavailable to her.
*The names of Amara and Yafet have been changed to protect their identity.