It sounded like a typical runaway story. A teenaged girl running away because life at home had become unbearable. Except there was nothing typical about it.
Two years ago, Nanda’s father murdered her mom.
Sure, he drank at times. Too much sometimes, and that’s when he usually turned violent. But she’d never imagined he would go so far as this.
After her father was placed in jail on the night of the murder, Nanda was sent to live with a close relative. She was anxious and scared. She was traumatized. She also represented one more mouth to feed, and her relative finally decided the burden was too much to bear. One morning, she walked Nanda down to the local orphanage and signed over her rights.
Life at the orphanage wasn’t much better. Yes, she was fed. But Nanda missed her mother. She missed home. Being raised by staff was difficult.
One day, Dad showed up.
Can you imagine the fear this girl felt as she sat in the office while her father asked to have his daughter back? While he calmly talked with the orphanage manager who knew nothing of this man’s evil past? Nanda was released into her father’s care.
Then the abuse started. She just couldn’t take it anymore. As a stateless child, she has no legal rights in any country, which means that a desperate situation was almost certainly hopeless. She was terrified that her father would kill her. She ran away to a government emergency shelter, who referred her to our care.
And that’s when her healing began.
It’s going to be a long road. We are partnering with government agencies and anti-trafficking groups to make sure that Nanda is safe. To find her a new home, with new loving parents, to start her new life and put the past behind her. In the meantime, she is receiving counselling and slowly piecing together the broken fragments of her heart.
Would you partner with us as we help more girls like Nanda in 2017? We need your generous financial support to continue and expand our work to love, protect and empower women and children in need.