Written by Cheryl Behrent
This month’s Sarah’s resident story is about an African woman we will call Amare which means “love.” By part III, you will know Amare’s love for Sarah’s and the Sisters. This part of the story is about Amare growing up in her home country.
Amare’s early life was okay and focused on school. It was normal and expected in her home country for girls to go to school. Amare came from an average family that could afford a home, enough food, and to send her to school through college.
In adulthood, Amare realized it was no longer safe for women and girls. She knew she needed to mind her words carefully to be safe. In the U.S. if you express an opinion different from what the government is expressing or you do
something they don’t think you should be doing, you don’t worry about losing your job. But, if you do what the government doesn’t support in other countries like Amare’s, you would be penalized much more harshly. People around her were being arrested, jailed, raped, tortured, or even killed.
Amare was fearful she would lose her position or worse, seeing others around were suffering without jobs and living with poverty. The government wasn’t supportive and it became difficult also for people to access healthcare. It was apparent this was happening in direct result from things the government was doing. Amare felt stuck because she felt compassion for those who were without what they needed, but helping people to get food, housing, or healthcare was going against the government.
Realizing she was in danger, Amare started learning about escaping (leaving the country). She had a relative in the U.S. who she talked to and said they could receive her but that after that she needed to find other space. Because they understood she was in danger they quickly agreed to take her into their home. Amare managed to escape.