FOA joyfully marks a milestone year, welcoming eight girls into the Norviwo program. They begin a journey of healing and self-discovery at the Norviwo Community Centre, where hope and possibilities intertwine.
In our journey at Future of Africa, we've been a reliable source of hope for young boys and girls facing life on the streets. Our commitment to their well-being has never wavered. However, the number of girls we've rescued has been lower compared to boys. Since 2016, more than 80 resilient street girls have participated in FOA's outreach programs, with almost 90% expressing a strong desire to leave the street. Yet, when the opportunity arises, many hesitate. Some are reluctant to leave behind the perceived freedom, others succumb to peer pressure or fear of separation from friends, and some face obstacles from manipulative and abusive relationships. Despite these challenges, FOA remains dedicated to providing a path to a brighter future for these courageous young girls.
Recruiting girls into the Norviwo program, Future of Africa's transformative five-year initiative for children in street situations, has proven challenging. This unique program offers a comprehensive transformation, including wellbeing, education, skilled trades apprenticeships, and life skills fostering independence. Despite our efforts, the allure of the streets often holds a strong pull, making intervention seem futile. Sadly, these resilient young women endure the streets, yearning for support, even in the face of false promises and the harsh reality of enduring sexual violence. Yet, our commitment remains unwavering, driven by the belief that these young girls possess immense value and potential.
Closing out 2023, Future of Africa (FOA) proudly reflects on a transformative year. Eight resilient girls found hope in our Norviwo program, with six now embraced in the caring arms of FOA at the Norviwo Community Center. Although our initial goal was five recruits, the undeniable commitment of these eight girls to leave the streets fueled our determination.
This year presented unique challenges, as FOA welcomed two pregnant girls unexpectedly. Despite being unprepared for newborn care, we couldn't turn away from the dire conditions these mothers faced on the streets. Their struggle for sustenance, clean water, a safe place, and prenatal care urged us to act.
Faced with significant challenges, the girls of Norviwo showcased extraordinary courage and tenacity. Their journey exemplifies the transformative power of programs like Norviwo in breaking the cycle of street life.
As we mark this milestone, FOA sets its sights on a brighter future. Plans to rent a new building for a girls safe house, and hire more female staff underscore our commitment to creating a safe haven for more street girls. A place where they can heal, build confidence, acquire vital life skills, and receive vocational training. FOA's plan is to rescue 15 more girls in the next two years, instilling hope, leadership, and joy in every smile we bring to these young faces. Together, we march towards a future where every girl has the opportunity to heal, thrive, and improve their livelihoods.