Upon hearing the plight of pregnant adolescent girls in Peru from a dear friend of mine, this poem about defense, defending and defender came to me. If you would like to learn more about the home referred to in the poem below, please follow this link:
My name is Adelgonda, which means defender.
I am defending myself.
I am defending my small sisters and cousins.
I am defending all defenseless children like myself.
I am pregnant
I am full of shame.
I hate myself.
I hate my body.
I was raped by someone my family knew.
This is my latest family secret.
I cannot talk about this with my family or others openly.
My family's image can not be distorted because of me.
My family, both male and female, protected the rapist.
They wanted to keep the peace in the family.
They wanted to keep their honor by being silent.
They shamed me for "causing" the rape.
I have to keep the baby inside me.
There are no foster homes, abortion is not an option.
I have to raise the baby.
I do not know how.
I do not know how to earn money to feed him.
I have no skills.
I do not like what is inside me.
It reminds me of the shame I "created" for my family.
I feel this baby is God's punishment for my shame.
I guess I am luckier than other girls.
I do not have to deliver my baby in the street.
I am now living in a special center, a house, with eighteen other girls like me.
I will be here for a year to deliver the baby,
get some job training,
and go back to my home,
where all the hurt and humiliation was created.
I am frightened of the future.
I have nightmares of the past.
I do not want to be raped again.
I want to run with the other girls in school.
I just want to be a normal child.
At the center, I am told that being raped was NOT my fault.
I would like to believe it.
It is very hard to do so.
I am not a stranger to you.
It just happened that I was born in Peru.
This happens to girls like me all over the world.
I could have been your teenage daughter.
I could have been your teenage sister.
I could have been your favorite niece.
I could have been your wife.
I could have been your mom.
There are many questions that I would like to get answers to.
I hope one day things will be better for girls like me.
Perhaps you can send me hope in your prayers.
Perhaps you can send me energy in your meditations.
Perhaps you can raise people's consciousness around you.
Perhaps you can volunteer.
Perhaps you can help financially.
I am told things will improve for all the girls,
even for the unlucky ones in the streets.
I do not know how this will happen
but something inside me is always hopeful.
I am Adelgonda.
You are Adelgonda.
We are Adelgonda.
MY GOD THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE BUT I AM SO GLAD SHE IS IN A SPECIAL 'GROUP HOME' PERHAPS THEY WILL BE MERCIFUL AND GIVE THE CHILD A CENCEREAN. THIS IS AWFUL BUT I READ A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO WHERE A YOUNG CHILD FROM THE EAST INDIAN AREA, YOUNGER THAN 11 EVEN, DIED IN CHILD BIRTH. THE MAN WAS HER HUSBAND. THANK YOU FOR SHARING THESE VERY, VERY SAD FACTS. BY THE WAY, THE 'LINK' DOES NOT WORK. GOD BLESS. JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS