Tekla is 19 years old. She was married to a very old man. According to the Massai, her bride price was paid but she was treated like a slave, beaten and bruised and not in a good or safe situation. Tekla ran away at night. She had tried to run away before but her brother in law caught her and took her back. Anna visited Tekla’s village to see how we could help. Tekla wanted to see her mom, so Anna connected with the community leader of that boma in order to help get in contact with her mom. The old man wanted the cows back which he had paid for Tekla’s bride price. She is at Neema now and her mom felt that she would be safe here. The man is currently looking for her. Tekla is scared to go back into that situation. Tekla is learning Swahili and some English and when the time is right we will talk about a business for her. She is spending a lot of time with other mommas in the MAP (Mothers Against Poverty) program, she is learning to sew and is in group therapy two days a week and she is being filled with love and encouragement.
Update: Neema Village hired an attorney to get Tekla free from the old man. He was threatening her mother for the bride price back. Tekla has been living at Neema for a few months now. At Neema Tekla has become a Christian and has finished the sewing classes, and bookkeeping classes. She knows how to read and write and feels that she can begin her business now, which is making and selling Maasai shukas (wraps). We will set her up for two months training with another MAP mom, Christina, who also sells shukas so she can learn the business side of doing a business. We are very happy and proud of her. Her little girl, Angel is the love of all of Neema.