In late October 2014, as the Ebola outbreak raged on, three little girls, ages 5 to 10 lost their only parent. Little did anyone know that the 10 year-old was a recent victim of FGM (female genital mutilation) before she lost her mother.
“They cut me and put a leaf there,” she stated in a previous article titled ‘They cut it and put a leaf there’ published on June 25, 2014.
There’s hope after all
Blessing has become everything for her two sisters. Though they stay home more often instead of walking around hoping for sympathetic gestures or handouts as before, they still yearn for something.
“Right now we need to go to school and start doing what we used to do when mama was alive. It doesn’t feel right being on this earth without our mother, but people have been telling us that our lives have to go on,” said Blessing.
Blessing’s 5-year-old niece, who was abandoned by her parents and raised by Blessing’s mother before her death, has a skin condition that needs serious medical attention.
“I have itch all over my skin, and only my grandma knew the medicine to make it go away. I miss her,” the friendly child whispered.
Blessing not only has to make sure that her sisters stay in line and follow the rules where they now find themselves living, but she also has to remind them constantly where their mother really is.
“My sisters remember seeing our mother’s body lying on the ground right after she passed away, but they still like to ask me where she is. I tell them that she’s in heaven with God. It’s easier to accept that mama is gone knowing that she’s with God,” added Blessing.
Blessing, who says she learned a lot from the Sande bush when she was taken there, now depends on the skills she learned while in the hands of the Zoes.
“They taught me how to be clean, cook and some other things that I am able to use to help my family. I’m still frightened of walking alone and being sent back to the Sande bush, but glad that I learned those things while in there,” she added.
Meanwhile, now that school is said to be opening, Blessing and her two siblings have no plans of going. It is not because of lack of funds or sponsorship to go, but because they say they have never really been to school.
“I went for a couple of years but stopped going in the past three years because of my mom. She didn’t make enough money from selling doughnuts and other things. So, school for me is not important now, unless maybe someone is willing to help us go,” Blessing said.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way
Meanwhile, the three children have started taking life a little simpler. Instead of moping around about losing their mother, they visit other orphaned children in the communities to sympathize with them.
“Ebola is still here and we keep ourselves safe, but sometimes I just like to see the faces of other children who went through what we have suffered. And I tell them my story and we shed tears together,” Blessing added,” I know that my mother misses us, and I miss her a lot too. I just want to let other children know that we have to be strong,” she added.
Blessing has accepted that change will one day come, and though she has been asked to move to another location with her teenage sister, she says change has to come.
“My sister says I need to move away from here so I won’t be reminded of my past. I was kidnapped here and also lost my mother here and she’s afraid other bad things could happen to me if I remain here,” she said.” I just worry for the two smaller ones, they’re gradually forgetting our mom, but through me they are reminded that something special brought us here,” she says.
Blessing’s sister, Vivian, has already prepared to take her to another location in Liberia and has promised to wait for whatever assistance that could be rendered to the child before she goes.
“Yes, I want to see help come for Blessing because I don’t have it. But the way I see things happening, Blessing needs to get away from this place so she can come to herself. She’s not okay,” added Vivian.