My Silent Heart
Below is Byogero Leila’s story. Leila, and other young women like her are the reason New Beginnings opened Ruth House, so fear can be replaced with peace; babies can be born in safety and mothers can be given vocational education. For every young lady who finds refuge at Ruth House, there is a new beginning — a new life — awaiting them. As you read Leila’s story below, please consider a gift to support the work of New Beginnings International Ministries. Thank you.
I am Byogero Leila, 16-years old from Kitubulo, Entebbe. I was brought up by my grandmother, Namubya Gonzaga from Mubende, until my dad, Lubega Abas came for me in 2015 to his home in Kitubulo. He took me to Homeland Primary School, although my step mother did not welcome the idea. She could mistreat me and tell my step-siblings to isolate me. When I would report these things to dad, he did not always listen to me. He would only punish me more.
One day, my step brother got sick. When the situations worsened, my step mum promised to poison me if he died, which later happened. So I ran for my life to Kampala, worried that my step-mother would poison me. At Natete I searched for a job. A lady popularly known as Nalongo adopted me as a house maid.
After spending a year there, Nalongo started mistreating me, withholding my food and basic needs. To make matters worse, she stopped paying me my monthly wage. When I saw the situation getting worse, I left for the street to be with some street girl friends I had made. They advised me to join them so together we could beg people for money and food to survive. We slept on verandas of different shops in Kampala for two years, until one day, one woman named Janet came and said she would take us with her to her home in Jinja. We were excited to stay with her because we desperately needed a place we could call home.
She picked up the four of us and brought us to Jinja, where she cared for our needs for a small period of time until her attitude changed, telling us that we were adults and she could not continue to provide everything for us and that we needed to start thinking about our future. As time went by, she eventually put us back out on the street — the streets of Jinja.
I lived this way for eight months, until, one night, this unknown man found me sleeping in my sack and raped me, holding my my mouth tightly closed so I could not cry out for help. After he raped me, the man ran away.
A few months later I realized a change in my health. I started getting weak and throwing up more often, and that’s when my street friends realized I was pregnant. I told them what had happened to me several months before.
I WANTED TO END MY LIFE
I felt helpless and had lost hope of myself, wondering why I was born to this world where there is no love and passion, that even my own father abandoned me to the hands of his brutal wife, my step-mother. I began to think of doing every kind of evil to myself, wanting to end my life and the life of the baby in my womb — worrying, who will she ever call dad?
Or, I thought, how will I ever manage supporting this baby and myself? But amidst all these trials and worries, the Lord saw me through and brought to me, those I call my guardian angels, that is Uncle Henry and Auntie Joyce.
After I nearly died having taken local herbs to try to end my life and the life within me, Uncle Henry and Auntie Joyce paid my hospital bills, rescuing me and my baby from death and bringing me off the street into to this beautiful home, Ruth House.
I am so proud and happy, but still worried of my other three friends I left on the streets of Jinja now that am in here, safe in Iganga, I keep praying that they get refuge someday just as I have. I am now in the good, supportive and protective hands of New Beginnings International Ministries.
When Auntie Vickie and Auntie Joyce showed me my room, with nice bed, blanket, bed sheets and all the food items, I was dumbfounded. I knelt down and thanked them and also in my silent heart, I thanked the Lord for what I am now. This is my home now and I love it. While here I want to learn hair styling so that in the future I can have my own women’s hairdressing salon.
This is my story.
Below, pictures of Leila standing outside Ruth House and in her room. When you support New Beginnings with a donation, you will help Leila and other young women like her to realize a new beginning for their life and their baby’s life. Your gift of $1,500 will fully underwrite the operational costs of Ruth House for one month. A partnership donation of $18,000 (USD) will fully underwrite the cost of Ruth House operations for one year. Of course, any amount you give will help. All gifts are tax deductible under U.S. tax code as your gift will be processed by our USA partner, United for Life Foundation, a registered 501 (c)(3) U.S. non-profit organization. Please donate now.