A SAFE PLACE IN THE DARK
In my old line of work [in the commercial sex industry], there were lots of challenges. There were challenges with people; there were challenges with drinking to cope with the insults and bad words.
There was no plan for the future , and there was no one to talk to.
I knew about Sons & Daughters through a friend, and I became interested after my friend told me that they were teaching [skills such as] sewing and candle-making. She told me the directions to Promise House, and then I visited by myself. As for the first impression, I didn’t really believe that they do such things, like help people in need, until I came and saw it by myself.
Sons & Daughters is helping me to organize myself and go back home. They are getting me ready for that by helping me to know what I want and what I can do when I go back home, and how to start my future there.
I’m learning business skills and coffee making. We just finished public speaking. And then we are doing sewing, and there we’re learning how to make new bags and designs of bags. And then for candles, we're learning about mixing different things, which is still a work in progress. They all smell good, so I still have a problem in choosing which one is my favorite.
My favorite class is sewing, which I enjoy a lot. When you sew something and it comes out beautiful, that makes me excited. I didn’t know I could sew something. I always see them, but didn’t know I can sew something and it would also come out like that, beautiful.
THE ROAD CAN BE BUMPY...
What’s challenging is that I have a lot of homework from different teachers. And then the challenge at first was studying about business because I didn't know anything about it, I knew a little bit but I didn't expect all that in business so that was my biggest challenge.
The biggest lesson I’m learning is that you have to know the business you want to enter, you have to know the challenges in that line of business, the money you need to set up and you have to know about competitors, positioning and regulations that are related to the business. For example, my business is about working with schools to drive the kids. Some of the challenges in the business are , I have to know all the routes, I have to be on time because I can’t make the kids late. If they’re late, there will be complaints. I also have to be registered with the school, I have to know the parents, their kids, all of the names to build a good relationship.
Bible studying is also a challenge. I don’t really understand how to observe when we’re reading yet.
Sweetie's favorite verse in the Bible
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me...
SEEING THINGS IN A NEW LIGHT
Compared to before, Sons & Daughters feels like a family now since we know each other better than before. I feel like there is always someone I can talk to, especially when something bothers me and it’s hard to keep quiet.
Now I know how to control my anger and emotions, I learned how to love myself more and how to care, how to say I’m very important in this world. You can be a good person and other people can still take you for granted and it can make you forget about yourself. So I learnt you have to fight for yourself and for people that you know that love you.
If I met myself before I discovered Sons & Daughters, I would tell her to love God, understand God, be patient, and love yourself.
A NEW PATH
When I first came to Sons & Daughters, I was confused because I didn’t know where to start when I go back home, but Sons & Daughters is helping me by showing me I can do a business, and this is how a business can start, this is how you can associate with people back home, etc.
For this coming year, my biggest goal is to focus on my fundraising and to study more about business, which is challenging because I don't really know how to do it and I don't really know what people want. I’m from Africa and I’m in Asia so it's a different culture, so it’s challenging.
I want to focus on [driving kids to school business] because where I’m from, kids face a lot of challenges when they go to school. Even if the school might have a bus, there are lots of kids and so it’s hard for them to know the number of kids and who needs to be in which bus. So they just drop the kids and don’t care. I feel like if I build a relationship with them, know where they are coming from, it will be a more healthy and better ride home. And the relationships can go into childcare or kindergarten. Kids are lovely and funny, they can take your stress out, and I’m already a mother. I know how to deal with kids.
Now it feels good. I feel like I live the life of normal people. I feel like I understand more that this is how people are supposed to live. They’re supposed to wake up in the morning and do something important for their lives and their future.