Over the past few years the world has been first shocked and subsequently inspired by the lives of brave young women who have demonstrated outstanding triumphs over unbelievable adversity. Stories such as that of Malala Yousafzai who survived an attempted assassination by the Taliban, and the young Afghan, Spozhnai, who told checkpoint officials about the suicide vest she was forced to wear by her family, demonstrate remarkable fortitude and courage.
One such story has just been published as an autobiography by one of the young people with whom we have worked with for many years. Entitled “Coming out of the Shadows”, it tells the story of “Roxana”(name changed to protect identity), a young girl in our Romanian project who escaped horrific abuse and turned her life around with the help of our local team.
Roxana started life in a Romanian orphanage where she was left at just one year of age. The abuse started there and when her parents came to take her back aged five, she was only too delighted to go with them. The family fell on hard times, her parents divorced and she was left with a family that beat and abused her for over eight years, and planned to send her to Italy for prostitution. Eventually, Roxana was noticed by People against Poverty’s Romanian project. The project leader promised to help and support her through her ordeal when the family she was living with along with the prostitutes who also lived in the home, were rounded up by the police. The project assisted with finding her a loving family, getting her back into school, and finding a lawyer who supported the trial of the family that had kept her captive.
Roxana starts her book with the words: “We all have a history. We all have a story behind us, more or less spectacular, a life of events lived with intensity. But few dare to open their hearts to tell of those things that were carefully hidden from the world.”
Her book is a harrowing read, but one of many stories that must be told as they offer a glimpse into some of the unpalatable truths of our world alongside a story of hope and inspiration when constructive intervention is put in place.
Roxana completed her studies at high school and went onto university to train as a teacher. She now lives in a very happy marriage with young child. You can read Roxana’s story which is available directly through our website for £6.99 (inc. postage) or email to place your order.