Finding a haven at Women and Girls Friendly Spaces (WGFS)- Old Fangak

Jun 19, 2024
Nyador*, a 30-year-old woman, lives in Old Fangak County with her four children and their father. Like most women, Nyador’s expectations were a blissful home blossoming with love and laughter; never did it occur to her that the roses had more thorns than petals. “When I gave birth to my first-born child, things were smooth. It was until I conceived the second born that my husband started drinking severely, and life turned into a living hell”. Since then, violence has become our daily bread, and like the Biblical Manna, he delivered blows and kicks to all of us without fail- in no time, my children and I had to run away from home on most nights since upon arrival, my husband would randomly become abusive, sparing no one.” Nyador dives deep into the intangibles and unseen damages of gender-based violence, mentioning how she experienced loneliness on those cold nights and they hid with her children. Since she did not have any income, there were days they went without food. Besides, the judgment from the community was palatable; she knew without a doubt that society viewed her as a pariah. Nothing is as strong as a mother’s love, they said. “When I saw that my children were almost to their graves because of hunger, I went to beg for a canoe from the neighbourhood to collect firewood to sell and raise a living for my children”. Unfortunately, Nyador’s husband took it all after learning about her small income, leading her back to despair.   Community awareness of gender-based violence. Psychosocial support, referral pathways and access to services are critical in the protection agenda. Through such initiatives, women like Nyador find a haven and connect with others facing similar challenges. Nyador came across community mobilizers creating awareness of physical violence and how its colossal impact on households. Through the Women and Girls Friendly Spaces (WGFS) supported by UNFPA, Nyador received psychological help, counselling and clothes for her children. “I would never have gotten the relief and peace I have today. Were it not for the WGFS, where we encourage each other and find ways to cope with our situation.” Nyador concludes. “I thank SAADO for reaching out to the community through awareness.” These stories warm our hearts and encourage us to keep up the fight.