It was midnight, one evening in June 1990. I sat at my regular place of prayer. There was a clear sky with stars warming my heart and I thought, “This is the only comfort I think I have available to me” after long days of work or after beatings I received from someone I thought would be my soul mate and friend for life. I had experienced this for over twelve years. All of a sudden I started to question why I had to put up with this. I asked God to show me a way out.
My mom once told me how she asked God to send her a rope that could pull her out of a similar experience. And then to her surprise, God heard her prayers and got her out of the situation.
My prayer this particular night was for God to reveal something to me. And then I remembered that I had a health condition that I had forgotten about for a couple of years. The voice in my head said, “What if this condition is a way out for you?” Listening to the voice, I went to a doctor the next day and was told that I had to go abroad to deal with my health. And this is how I ended up in the United States. I will always remember that day I asked God to give me solution to my problem.
God gave me an answer to an abusive relationship and also the courage and desire to stand for other girls and young women so they would not have to tolerate humiliation or mistreatment. REAL grew out of my experience and sacrifice. I am forever grateful for those who also are standing to make this world a better place for girls, women, men and humanity. Because of those who stand with us, we are improving the situations and life experiences of many girls and their families.
This past week I spoke to five of the eight mentors that work with REAL girls. Most of the girls are doing well in school, home and community.
Tsehai Wodajo, REAL Founder and Executive Director