Ludjie (pronounced Loudie) caught our attention when we visited the school in May 2019. The eleven-year-old came to us after morning roll call. “My head hurts”, she said. “Can you help me?” She had an unmissable, large, seeping wound on the back of her head. When we took a closer look, we also noticed a swelling behind her ear and eczema all over her body. We knew that she wouldn’t get better soon without a doctor and medication, but Ludjie’s mother just didn’t have the money. Ludjie told us that she didn’t have a father. We gave her the contact details for Carline, our local co-worker.
Ludjie’s mother actually did contact Carline. When they met for the first time, the mother was so weak and hungry that Carline first offered here a sandwich. Then the mother told her story. Her neighborhood had been attacked by a gang. They burned everything down and raped many of the women and girls. The mother was able to hide Ludjie so that the gang didn’t find her, but from then on they had nowhere to live. Ludjie went to stay with friends. The man who lived in the house touched Ludjie on her rear and kept making suggestive comments.
The mother asked for money so that she could rent a room and be reunited with her two children. She wants to work as a carer, or help with housekeeping. That would earn her around 60 Swiss francs per month, but school fees and doctor’s costs are beyond her budget.
Fully confident of being able to find sponsors, we promised the mother help. What’s more, Ludjie was able to see a doctor, and the wound on her head is already almost healed.