After losing her father, Trina* was sad and confused. She struggled to cope with his death and her pain became deeply entrenched in her heart. When a new step-father came into her home, he rejected Trina as a daughter. This further loss created more inner trauma and Trina withdrew from those around her. She rarely spoke and when she did, it was only to her mother or grandmother. Not knowing how to handle her feelings of loss, abandonment, and loneliness, Trina was in danger of becoming completely isolated.
Sadly, Trina’s story is one of many in the urban community of Mulenga, where hundreds of children have lost one or both of their parents. Each day is a struggle as they fear being alone. A group of local men and women in Mulenga have spent years fighting for these children to live with hope instead of fear. These Care Workers are volunteers, and their sacrifice is bringing light to the darkest corners of the slum they live in.
Trina’s Care Worker is Catherine. Catherine is also one of only five teachers at Mulenga Community School where children are rotated through the small space each day to ensure all have a chance to learn. In June 2014, Catherine attended a Maranatha Workshop with her fellow teachers and Care Workers that was facilitated by Hands at Work local leaders. Over a week they shared their stories and challenges and began to find healing by speaking honestly with one another. Catherine found deep healing in her broken relationship with her husband and found the strength to share her story with her fellow Care Workers.
As Catherine knew from the workshop, Trina needed constant love to build a relationship from such serious hurt. She committed to visiting and caring for Trina, even when Trina would not speak. Catherine knew that Trina could find healing through speaking honestly about her feelings and telling her story. Catherine’s faithfulness changed Trina’s life. As she began to feel safe, she opened up to Catherine. Finding trust in Catherine has helped her find trust in others, and today Trina is not found alone, but spending time with her friends and her grandmother.
*Name has been changed
Read more stories of how the most vulnerable are being loved and cared for