"Hello, my name is Mutoni Betty. Am 17 yrs old and grew up in Mbale. My father did in 2007 from diabetes. My mother separated from my father when I was 5, so she left me with my uncle for some time while she lived on the island in busima. she couldn’t take care of me without my father because she had no job, and couldn’t support me and she was just trying to get enough money to rent a place to live. She could not keep me in the same home with her because she had no food, and was very sickly. She was always down with sickness and in bed So she gave me away to my uncle. I still had no education, was starving, and some times we would go without food for days. Honestly he was also unable to support me.
My uncle ended up giving me to a friend of his who tried to pay school fees and educate me for a few years. After that the mother picked me up from my uncle’s friend’s house because he was mistreating me. He used to pour cold water on me and beat me. Whenever he came back home, he also would let me go to sleep with no food. I wasn’t doing well and I could not handle the mistreatment anymore. My Mother learned that it was too hard for me there, so that’s why she came to get me.
My mother began asking her friends if anyone could give us any money for my school fees so that I could stay in school. Someone gave my mother money for a couple terms in school, but after that the money ran out and no one else would give to support my school. My mother still has no job and not really any income, so we were also still struggling for food and clothing and rent, but at least I was not being mistreated anymore at the friend’s house where I used to be. So, I stayed at my mother’s for a while, and it was then that I got pregnant by a boy that I had known from school. He was 18 years old and was home on the island during holiday break.
People started hunting him down to put him in prison because he got me pregnant and I was a minor so he ran away from the island. So he had left me there without any support or help and the parents of the boy denied that he had gotten me pregnant and they refused to give any help.
I did not know where to go. I thought that I was going to die on the island during childbirth because I had no transport to get to the mainland to deliver. There is very little medical help on the island, as there is only one clinic that is only open one day a week. Normally first time mothers who are young like me have to be operated on and have a c-section to deliver the baby. I knew this was true and what usually happened. I was terrified. Many times these girls and mothers die during the operation even if they make it to the hospital. I was so scared. And there is no way to get the operation done on the island, so I knew I had to get to the mainland, but I had no support, no one to help me, and I knew I was going to die.
I knew that I should abort the baby because I would die anyway if I tried to deliver. But then I was scared, because many girls have lost their lives using traditional medicines to abort. I was confused and lacked appetite. I was so worried that I could not go out of the room. I was too ashamed at this young age. All my friends deserted me because of the pregnancy. My mother was so ashamed of me. I am so young and not married and barely have any education. There was no way that I could take care of a baby. My mother was so embarrassed that she did not do a good job of raising me up with better morals and standards. So both me and my mother were uncomfortable in the community and felt shunned. My mom tried to hide me in the room so people could not tell that I was pregnant. So she wanted to take me somewhere off the island to hide me where no one could see me. We didn’t have any transport though and she had no idea where to go or who to ask for help. We both cried for days because we did not have any way out; we had no support. We were living in darkness; we had no way through. It seemed that the world had come to an end.
My mother tried desperately to look for where to put me. That is when she found the pastor. Because we hadn’t gone out of the house much or talked with many people in the community, we hadn’t had much communication with the pastor. But my brother encouraged my mother to see if the pastor knew of anyone who could help me. My brother and mother talked to the pastor on the island and it turned out that he works hand in hand with Kupendwa Ministries.
He said that they support young mothers like me who are abandoned, rejected, outcasts, needy, and desperate. The pastor encouraged me and my mom and told us that these people would probably be willing to take me in, love me, and become my second family, and do everything that they can to help me and me baby. He also told us that they would also help brighten my future, give me skills and knowledge so that after I leave the home, I would have a starting point for me and my baby. .at least so that I would have a way to support myself and earn an income. So he was also a great encouragement in my life at this point when I needed someone to lean on and encourage me and my mother. I began to have a peace about possibly getting help.
He called Mommy Amy and told her about my situation and my story. She said that she would love to help me, so she came to the island where I was living with my mother and she picked me up and took me to her house. She has been so loving and kind and has provided everything for me. She helped save me.
So, I came to live at Kupendwa and they have been helping me. I thank God for my life and for their help. They support me, provide me with education and skills training, along with vocational skills, too. I now have had all my prenatal checkups and medical care taken care of. I do not worry at all. Now I know that I will have help during childbirth and be able to deliver at the hospital with all the birthing supplies and everything that I need. I thank God for the friends and family that I now have who support me and love me like their own family. I now have security and peace in my life. I can see that the Lord is providing for me and caring for me through these people. I know that my future is in the Lord’s hands and that He has good plans for me and my baby. At this point, I trust and believe in the work that God is doing through Kupendwa Ministries and am so, so grateful. From the time that I arrived, I have seen that there is a huge change in my life spiritually. I thank you all for supporting and loving me and Kupendwa Ministries. May God bless you."