UPDATE FROM GRAMACHO
By Pedro do Borel – translated
Even in the midst of the conditions we see in Gramacho, Nadia says she sees a garden. It is our job to see this place flourish and change.
After one of our trips in Jardim Gramacho, I came back full of questions, expectations, but also with breakthroughs in the life stories of some girls living there.
The stories were shocking, even though I’m used to hearing many traumatic stories of injustices in our yet wonderful city.
Yesterday, in a completely informal conversation while on outreach, the girls began to tell me their life stories. I found out that one of the girls we’ve been visiting with, only 20 years old is pregnant with her second child. She has 2 husbands, and was kicked out of her house when she was 12 to 13 years old, since then she began to do extremely heavy work, picking up trash, getting water, etc. she kept doing this to care for her mother and the brother.
One girl told a story of how she was sent away from home and had no way to survive other than prostituting herself, living in the house of friends and neighbors, was her only way to survive.
While she was talking, it became apparent that she and her other girlfriends often talked about how Gramcho is a good place to live and to raise a child, without ever realizing that they’ve been exploited, raped, expelled, rebuffed. It is like they don’t know how loved and valuable they are, they deserve a home, clean water and opportunities to go to school.
Getting to know the people of Gramacho – the individual, from the inside out, is going to be a great challenge. But we are excited about the next steps, seeing them more and more.
We have to remember there is Hope.