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Mali's Story

Finding Hope

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Posted on: 
18 Sep 2017
Mali's Story

Hope inspires because it runs contrary to expectations. We base our expectations on what we can see, while hope deals with what we cannot see and is beyond our control. Mali’s story shows how her life was infused with hope beyond her expectations.

At age five, Mali’s childhood world began to crumble. Her parents’ divorce tore the family apart. Both her parents remarried and started new families, leaving Mali and her 7 siblings abandoned and relegated to foster homes. Mali ended up in a group home, but as soon as she turned 18, she had to leave the group home with no money, no food, no job and no understanding of how to live in this world.

The streets became Mali’s new home with her bed changing each night as she slept on benches, in bomb shelters and in stairways of buildings. Sometimes she would spend the night wandering in fear, afraid that something might happen to her if she slept. Mali was constantly hungry and soon became malnourished, as her food for the day was sometimes only half a sandwich. 

After several years of living on the streets, Mali finally decided to call her mom on a payphone. She wanted to tell her that she was on the streets with no food and no safe place to go. Mali asked her mom if she could go to her house, but to Mali’s detriment her mom just hung up on her. Shortly after this, Mali ended up in the hospital because her body was severely weakened from starvation. 

While in the hospital, Mali’s nurse gave her the number of a social worker named Iris. Mali connected with Iris and discovered that the group home Iris ran was full. Instead of just abandoning Mali, just like her mom had done, Iris showed love and care for her by taking Mali into her own home. With amazement, Mali explains, “She just took me home with her! A strange little girl she didn’t even know. My new life began in that moment.” Iris taught Mali about daily life, managing a bank account, nutrition, how to cook, and how to work hard. “Iris became like a mother to me. She saved my life,” Mali said with deep gratitude.

Today, Mali works with children, and she loves what she does because she realises the great importance of investing in a child’s life. In the future, Mali would like to start her own organisation to help other kids who are in the same situation she was in. 

Mali expressed her gratefulness towards the partners of the ICEJ, “Through receiving an educational scholarship from the ICEJ, and realizing people around the world believe in and support me, I know I will achieve my dream.”

Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
Join us in being a part of giving a hope and a future to many others just like Mali.

Join us in being a part of giving a hope and a future to many others just like Mali.

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