Jovia loves school but when Jovia, an epileptic, was a high school freshman she was raped. As punishment for getting pregnant, her mother wanted to kick her out of the house and stop her education. Community healthcare workers and a GLO ambassadors met Jovia and convinced her to use the GLO’s midwife and counseling services during her pregnancy. Then a psychiatrist at the GLO clinic stepped into Jovia’s life in a big way.
The psychiatrist basically said, “Jovia, we want to make sure your education continues. We want you to have a healthy baby. And we want you to continue to come to the GLO clinic for care. So I will talk to your teachers and ask them to allow you to come back to school after you have your baby.”
The situation was bleak. Jovia’s mother was poor. There was no father at home. Jovia had three other younger siblings that needed care. Her epilepsy cast a shadow on her image and value in the village. And the mother was angry and upset.
Village leaders and GLO staff convinced the mom to let Jovia stay at home and have the baby. She also agreed to help take care of the baby when Jovia returned to school. Jovia had a healthy baby, returned to school, and did well. GLO gave financial support throughout this time.
GLO secured financial donations from the Simsbury United Methodist Church in Connecticut, U.S.A. The funds supported the family and enabled Jovia to buy required school supplies like books, a school uniform, and scholastic materials. The same church also helped pay Jovia’s tuition.
Jovia will be graduating from high school in 2019. Today life is still hard. Jovia’s mother has to frequently leave home to find work so she can support her children. That makes Jovia the head of the household and responsible for all three younger siblings for long stretches of time. At age 18, she has to be the adult in the household. But Jovia’s full of hope and promise.
She’s attending GLO’s Women and Girls Empowerment Project. GLO’s working on establishing a microeconomic vocational program that Jovia can’t wait to start. She’s dreaming of becoming a nurse so she can take care of other people like her. And she’s already shown that she can accomplish a lot with just a little bit of help.