Ama* is a 10-year-old girl from the community of Ilaje, Nigeria. When she was young her father passed away, leaving her in the care of her paralysed mother, Esther. At a very young age Ama was forced to become the breadwinner in order for her family to survive. As a result, Ama has not had the opportunity to be a child.
Ama’s tragic situation was brought to the attention of the local Care Workers when a teacher from the local community school noticed that Ama was not attending school. Instead, Ama was washing plates at a local canteen in a desperate attempt to make enough money for her mother and herself to survive. This teacher, Mrs. Joseph, learned how desperate Ama and Esther’s situation was. With no father and an immobile mother, Ama was truly caring for herself. Mrs. Joseph also felt compassion for Esther, knowing that as a mother she desired to care for her child, but had no choice but to be bedridden.
Mrs. Joseph introduced Ama to the local Care Point in Ilaje, and she now receives a hot meal daily, access to basic health care, and free education. Yet the help that she is receiving goes far beyond her physical needs. Ama is being visited regularly in her home by her Care Worker, Bernard, who is bringing hope to both Ama and Esther. He has become the father figure that Ama desires to have, and a friend who Esther needs. Knowing someone truly cares about her daughter and will ensure she is safe and loved has lifted a heavy burden from Esther’s heart.
Ama’s life has been transformed in many ways by servant hearted and giving people like Mrs. Joseph and Bernard. Today she is free to go to school. She always arrives early to help sweep the school grounds, saying she wants to give back some of the blessings she is receiving. She dreams of becoming a doctor once she finishes school and her confidence is slowly building. As her inner wounds heal, Ama is realising her life is not defined by her vulnerability. She is beginning to believe in herself and her great worth as a child of God.
*Name has been changed
Read more the love and sacrifice of the local church in Africa as they care for the most vulnerable