SANTA - A STORY TO TELL
26th of January 2017 Santa came together with of one of the ambassadors for the first time to amescosa Treatment Centre.
Santa is 24 years old and has 2 children in the age of 10 and 7 years. She is the youngest daughter and has 7 brothers and sisters. With fourteen Santa was forced to marry a man more then 10 years older than her and thereof had to stop going to school at class 8. Now she is a single mother and has the sole responsibility for her 2 children. Mostly the men remarry again and stay with the second wife.
For 10 years Santa was strongly dependent on alcohol and marijuana, drinking at least 6l Mnazi (locally brewed palm wine) daily and smoking up to 10 joints. Poly drug use is very common as it boosts the effect of the main substance, but unpredictably and makes the dependence more sever. Santa worked as a "waitress" at a Mangwe (so called local "bar") selling Mnazi (locally brewed palm wine). To earn 300 Shillings Santa had to sell at least 20 bottles of Mnazi daily. That's around 3 Dollars. Never enough for her and her 2 children to cover even their basic needs. Before Santa was selling charcoal and earned even less. At days with just a few customers at the Mangwe Santa was forced to drink the full bottles left to get the 300 Schillings. A fact which made her alcohol dependence much more complex.
The owner of the Mangwe is an older man. He frequently took advantage of Santa and her circumstances and forced her late evening hours to have unprotected sex with him, otherwise he would have refused to pay her salary .
To increase her income and also to afford her substance dependence, Santa had pushed herself to engage in random sex work, as she saw no other choice. Job opportunities in Kilifi are still rare and an incomplete education as well as being dependent on alcohol and marijuana made the situation desperate.
Especially young women being dependent on alcohol and further more being drunk and out of self-control attract as victims in Kilifi County - in Kenya - various sexual, psychological, physical and mental violation and abuse, not only from men. These young women experience calculated penetration through many different forces taking advantage of their vulnerability and constraining them to do things for personal, self-righteous benefits these young women would otherwise never do.
Getting to know about amescosa-road to recovery and finding trust in the ambassador and the amescosa team, Santa decided to take this chance to fundamentally transform her life and thereof as well the life of her children. She could feel deep in her heart the significance of this unique opportunity and within 1 week she had stopped being engaged in sex work and started with her treatment process at amescosa Treatment Centre.
Santa went successfully through detoxification and has participated with seriousness in aftercare adjusted to her individual needs. With the therapeutic support she worked through her childhood trauma, all the different kinds of abuse she experienced and learned to love herself again. She cultivated the attitude of being a responsible mother, became capable to take care of herself and gained a strong inner foundation.
She has started her own business and through close monitoring of her business strategy, budget and saving plan her 2 children go to school again. Particularly for such children access to education has a high preventive aspect.
Having a new, positiv self-perception, self-esteem and the courage for a self-determined life are 3 vital elements in Santa's sustained recovery. It also helped her creating a new, healthy social environment on which she can rely. Her children are very happy about the positive development in their lives and can now believe in a much more prosperous future. Santa's family looks at her with different eyes and support her. In June 2017 one of her aunts informed Santa on a job vacancy at Pwani University as a servant in the students' canteen. Not hesitating Santa went for the job interview and was immediately employed.
Today, Santa is a strong voice of amescosa-road to recovery standing and speaking for all the young women and mothers in alcohol and polydrug dependence and the threats, risks and dangers they are exposed to and left alone within Kilifi County and the Coast Region. If a chance occurs to address people at a public event, a forum or other official occasions, she shares her story and experience to sensitize more for young women and mothers in alcohol and polydrug dependence and the importance of getting support. Through her authentic, honest, direct and natural way she touches the heart of the people and helps them to understand substance dependence in its deepest reality. She appears self-confident and presents how substance dependence affects every single sphere of a young woman's life and that some negative side effects are un-reversible; like becoming HIV positiv and the undeniable fact of its transmission she obviously personally caused as well over years in having unprotected sex without any bad intension but nevertheless she did. Santa describes it as a part of her truth she had to learn to accept and to integrate without feeling ashamed, guilty or blaming herself anymore. More over, it became her vigorous personal driver in her engagement to promote awareness and enlightenment on the affection of alcohol and polydrug dependence for young women and mothers.
Santa is an impressive example of how effective holistic alternative medicine, humanistic values, the conviction in positive transformation and the inclusion of all spheres of life in treatment and rehabilitation play together.
Santa's testimony and strength and the one of all our other recovery clients shall enhance the engagement to alleviate as many young women and mothers of substance dependence as possible and to offer the chance to fundamentally transform ones lives.
MEMBERSHIP AND DONATION
Bank Account "AMESCOSA ROAD TO RECOVERY ORGANISATION"
Account Number: 2038921463
Branch Code: 019
Barclays Bank of Kenya Limited
Bank Code: 03
Swift Code: BARCKENX