Beer Anyone?



Five of our children at St. Abanoub school have been abandoned by their father. The oldest child is in 6th grade and the youngest is in preschool.  The mother is ill, and can’t afford to pay her children’s tuition for this term, which consists of $3/child, so all her children have missed the first month of school. A couple of days ago, we sent our social worker, Jessie, to visit this family.  Their house is made up of 2 small rooms with no furniture. They sleep on a couple of mats and a very thin mattress. When asked how they manage to sleep in such a tiny room, the mother replied, “The children sleep on the mattress in the inner room and I sleep on a mat by the door, so if thieves come, I can fight them and protect my children.” After coming back from the visit with tears in her eyes, Jessie reported that the oldest child, Agness, was involved in making and selling homemade beer in order to earn money and support her sick mother and her siblings. The mother worked as a maid, but lost her job 2 months ago due to her illness. After counseling the mother and oldest daughter at the St. Abanoub campus, we coordinated with our church services to offer them immediate support and a long-term help plan.  We also advised Agness that by selling beer, she ran a high risk of being assaulted by drunk men, and if the assault resulted in a pregnancy, she could potentially be forced into prostitution, especially in the neighborhood she comes from.  If you knew Agness like we do, you would see a bright young girl with a golden heart who has a bright future ahead of her, if only she had the means.  Often, the challenging circumstances our children face force them into poor life choices.  The difference between Agness and your child is simply a matter of resources.