Aisha’s Story from Safe Haven Halfway Home

Date: April 3, 2023
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Making the most of my life

“I aim to have a job and a house of my own and to be financially independent.”

My name is Aisha and I am 18 years old. I came to Safe Haven in August 2021 and have been living in different shelters since the age of seven. I was happy during my various stays at shelter. The staff were very patient and caring towards me and I enjoyed playing with the children. At Safe Haven Halfway Home (SHHH), I feel happy and comfortable.

Currently, I am doing an Extended Diploma course in Art and Design and I also work at a nearby restaurant. I find my course to be bulky. Yet, I enjoy one particular module and persevere by working consistently every day. It is sometimes tiring to juggle between working and completing all my coursework. Nonetheless, I do recognize that I need to earn money to buy the things I want.

I did my Primary School Achievement Certificate (PSAC) aged 10 years old. I completed my O’Level in Physical Exercise (PE), Travel and Tourism, Art and Fashion and Textiles.

Despite the various things that happened when I was little, I have fond memories of my childhood. I am the eldest of four siblings. My mother left the matrimonial house when my youngest brother was born. Since my father would not have been able to take care of four children on his own, my aunt adopted my youngest brother. My other siblings are at different shelters at the moment.

My mother was an alcoholic who often abandoned us. She was irritable and behaved in a haphazard manner when drunk. Sometimes my father would hit her when she behaved weirdly. My father was the sole breadwinner; he worked as a taxi driver and then as a construction worker. My mother did not pay much attention to us. My siblings and I loved going to school but our mother beat us when she found out. My mother neglected us and did not cook food. Neighbours thereafter complained that we were not being given food. Following this complaint, staff from the Child Development Unit (CDU) came to fetch us and placed us in shelters. My mother come to see us only once after we were all placed in different shelters. Today, I have lost contact with both my parents and my youngest brother. If one day I get the opportunity to speak to my mother, I really want to ask her why she drank so much. I would like to meet my father again.

Ever since I did my O’ Level in Physical Exercise (PE), I was very interested in working out at the gym. I want to learn nail art, hairstyling, the Mauritian Sega dance and to perform in music shows in hotels. I would also love to sew clothes that I wish to wear – this has motivated me to undertake the course that I am currently doing. Furthermore, I enjoy choreography and marine activities; I even swam with dolphins once!

I have developed strong intuitive feelings with regards to events that might happen to me and my sister; I realised this when I was around 15 years old. Prior to this, I followed a course with a psychologist. I feel more comfortable when I am focussing on only one thing at a time and can then give my best. My motivation level tends to dwindle when I encounter failure, be it in my studies or in daily life but I always think of an alternative when something does not work out. I aim to have a job and a house of my own and to be financially independent. My dream is to become a fashion designer.