“That’s only on our faces,” Mariamu, a teenage mother and survivor of rape responded when Edna Gicovi, psychosocial counselor at CVT Nairobi, told her how happy she and her friends looked. “Inside, we’re deeply wounded.”
Mariamu’s words eloquently capture the suffering of many CVT women clients with infants born from rape, a horrifying weapon of war. When another survivor, Dina, came to CVT Nairobi for counseling, she struggled with parenting her child, Lucky, who resulted from rape. But Dina found hope.
At CVT, we focus on women’s strengths: their strength as women, as mothers, the strength that accompanies giving birth. It’s not uncommon, initially, for rape survivors to struggle with parenting their children. “But during counseling, I see clients go through a change in their thinking.” said Teresia Macharia, psychosocial counselor at CVT Nairobi. “In time, she can acknowledge, ‘I really love my baby. It’s my baby.’”
At her 12-month counseling follow-up, Dina was strong and happy and felt hopeful about her future. Her baby was doing well, and Dina felt Lucky was a gift from God.
CVT is committed to helping mothers, many of whom are young girls, work through how they can heal — even when the circumstances seem impossible to overcome.