Changing Lives – Stories of Safe Haven Halfway Home Residents

Date: December 22, 2017
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Below are the stories of our residents :

Dola* our first resident is 18 years old originally from Terre Rouge. At 13 she started smoking synthetic drugs and ran away from her home. She was locked in the Rehabilitation Youth Centre (RYC) (children prison), for one year and as soon as she got out, she ran away and stayed with friends on the street for one year and where she sexually abused. She was sentenced for 4 years in RYC and her father refused to see her as she was violent with her stepmother. During her stay in RYC, Dola was a gang leader and is easily understandable as it is the survival of the fittest. The first week in Safe Haven was hard with Dola testing boundaries and learning about new rules. A profiling exercise was done together and she came up with some very interesting ideas and 10 days after her arrival she said she is happy to have a second chance. This was the day Dola decided to concretely do something in her life even if she stopped school at 14 years. We offered to enroll her in a French course sponsored by the HRDC and she agreed. Dola is now a more responsible person and working hard to live her dreams and is improving daily.

The second resident 18-year-old Minou* was sent to us by the ministry. Minou has been diagnosed by Brown Sequard Hospital (BHS) as being retarded. Was a difficult case to take because of proper file. We phoned different shelters so as to understand her more. Minou has lived in shelters all her life and has been under very strong medications. Two shelters we contacted told us that she sleeps a lot and that she can be violent. For a big part of her life she has been sleeping. At her appointment at BHS the Dr. was surprised when I told him that Minou enjoys painting, counting, reading and writing and that she is getting better with her articulation. She will start  part-time  work in February 2018.

Baboune* arrived at Safe Haven on the 21st September and has lived in different shelters all her life. Abandoned at birth, she knew her late father and her grandmother, but the mother is nowhere to be found. Different organisations have tried to trace her mum but to no avail. Baboune stopped school at 12 years and was in RYC for three years for bad conduct in shelters. She said she loved giving people in the shelters a hard time as it was her way to get her revenge on life. She expressed her gratitude for her staying in Safe Haven. A lot of work needs to be done with her as friends very easily influence her.

On the 18th October, we got a call to ask if we can take a 20-year-old girl in as she was severely abused by her boyfriend. As soon as we arrived at Safe Haven, Mili* was given clean clothes, hot shower and freshly cooked food. She was very shaken and learnt that she suffered from epilepsy. Mili had 6 seizures in the night and did not have any medications on her. The next morning, on Divali, we took her to Candos hospital and after a long drama there, there were couple of extremely nice people who released her file and she was given her meds. Couple of hours after reaching Safe Haven, and in a matter of 1 hour Mili had 3 seizures. We got very concerned and phone SAMU to come get her. She was taken to Flacq hospital. Safe Haven then did arrangements for her to take her A level exams in hospital due to her conditions. Mili was hospitalised for 3 days due to seizures and the horrible abuse she went through (She received blows everywhere on her body, she was kicked in the stomach, hit on her head by a big stone, dragged on the road and aphone was put in her mouth just to name a few. Atrocious!) I went to get her from Flacq Hospital on the 21st November. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned as Mili tried to commit suicide on the 23rd November and is receiving treatment at the mental hospital. She is no longer under our care as we are not equipped to take care of suicidal youth. However, her aunt has agreed to take her charge and she is also getting help from NGOs in that sector.

Loulou* arrived at Safe Haven on the 28th October 2017. She was admitted to the RYC in June, 2012. she was only 12 years old. She was abandoned in hospital and was placed in la ” creche Coeur de Marie”. At the age of 5 she was transferred in a Convent. At the age of 12 she started manifesting misconduct behaviour and she was sent to the RYC up to her majority She scarcely have visits of anyone. When she arrived at Safe Haven, she was of introvert nature, timid but easily influenced by others. Loulou is now more self-confident and needs love and affection. She was granted leave and spent some days with Kinouété a local NGO. She attended CEDEM school thrice a week and has followed basic hairdressing course which was delivered by Medcare. she is very interested in this skill and if she is given the opportunity to enlarge her skills that would be so nice. Loulou will start full time work in January in a hotel.

Simi* arrived on the 11th December 2017 and is 19 years old. She was in SOS Village shelter and the age of 18 she was asked to leave. For one year she has gone through houses with friends, in other shelters for abused women that was not appropriate for a young girls. She left the shelter and lived with friends here and there until she heard of Safe Haven through an article that appeared in the papers. 16th December arrival of 17-year-old Bebe* with her two-year-old son Wayne. The mum was raped by the step father who is now in prison. Since she got close to her perpetrator and behaved badly with her mother sent her to RYC. Safe Haven welcomed mum and son for a better future.

*Names have been modified for confidentiality

Each resident costs SAFE HAVEN MUR 120000 a year (all inclusive with rent, food, clothes, HR, bills, transport, outings, courses etc.) to donate, see details below


Account name – Gender Links
Swift Code- STCBMUMU
Account Number- 62030100120406

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