Yesterday was another monumental day at Project Somos.
Yesterday we welcomed our fourth family to the Village!
For the last number of weeks, Lucy (our recently hired local employee) has been out in the “field” meeting with different community leaders and groups. She has been introduced to various women and their children, who are living in extreme poverty. The stories she has shared, have been heartbreaking.
There have been countless incidences of babies conceived from rape, many abusive situations and sad stories of young women becoming widows. For me, it has been a roller coaster of emotions hearing the stories, and then meeting the women.
Greg has written about the situation here-it is not straightforward. We do not have a line up of women ready to come. It is a slow, careful process on all parts. We came close a couple of times and for various reasons, it did not work for different women.
One, in particular, was very sad for me. The 28 year old mama of one, wanted to be here so badly. Her parents joined her on the tour, raved about what they saw and to our faces said they felt it would be a good place for their daughter and grandchild.
A few days later, we got word from Lucy that when she visited the woman, she cried in sadness, sharing that her mother would not allow her to come, that she needed her to do work in the house and for other family members (for little or no money). The father told his daughter that if she left without their permission, she would never be allowed to return to the family. The woman remains in the family home, sad and disempowered.
Enough of that heartbreak.
Onto the good news…
On Monday Marta and Antonieta and their seven children moved out of Casa Creo (the blue house they have all been living in together) and into Casa Valentía. It was an exciting day for everyone because they knew what was next…
Yesterday Myra and her two children; Mariana and Daniel arrived. Both children will celebrate their birthdays during their first week here! Mariana will turn five next Wednesday and Daniel will turn two on Sunday! Unlike, Marta’s kids who waited for nearly a year to receive their quilts, these two sweeties will get to choose their quilts right away!
When Myra came for her visit last week, she looked like she had completely lost hope. You could see the trauma in her eyes. She barely smiled. Yesterday, after a few hours, I saw this calm wash over her. I saw her smile and laugh with the other mamas.
The children settled in very quickly. They immediately start to play with the other kids, run around and explore. In the afternoon, Mariana could not wait to put on her new pyjamas. When I dropped in for a visit, she ran into my arms and gave me the longest most loving hug ever. I felt her gratitude spilling over and mine matched hers.
It has been a long time and lot of work to get us to today. We are still far from reaching our completed vision but it feels like we are well on our way. Two houses with four families feels good. We have space for two more families. Our four mamas and their combined 11 children make this place feel like a true Village.
As always, I feel an incredible amount of gratitude to all of you who have supported and cheered us on. Thank you. Gracias. Matioche.
Please join me in welcoming Myra, Mariana and Daniel to Project Somos, where we hope they will feel welcome, loved and safe.