Happy manages a shy smile and adds, “I can’t quite say my life is perfect now, but at least he provides for me and my child every month, it’s not much but I’m grateful. He also agreed to provide me with some capital with, which I started selling onions and dried anchovies which help us put some food on the table. I live at home and our family is large, my siblings go to school, and in essence, it’s tough for us particularly for my mom, but we do our best”.
Bahame Nhulo, the village chair says of the ordeal, “I worked very hard on this case because it was a sensitive issue. She was a very young girl from a very poor home and she was pregnant and pretty on her own. It paints terrible picture, when a grown young man proceeds to land a naïve girl in serious difficult and then abandon her;
I’m grateful for the readiness and commitment of the paralegals, who guided me and the victim’s mother through all the fine points of the law, until we finally were able to secure child maintenance for Happy and her daughter. It’s been rewarding even though she still has quite a mountain to climb,” says Nhulo.
The involvement of the paralegals in this case, proved crucial from the onset and their excellent relations with the village leadership ensured Happy’s painful experience doesn’t define who she is today.
She represents the core of beneficiaries that LSF’s Access to Justice Program targets. Stories similar to Happy’s play themselves out around the country, however the presence and readiness of paralegals plays a significant role in safeguarding their rights and helping them restart their lives with hope and confidence.
“Looking back at my personal journey, I urge young girls not to allow their minds to be twisted around. I was deceived and I simply didn’t have the wits to fight off and stand my ground, but that is all in the past now and it’s given me lessons for the future. I intend to work harder for my child and one day help her live a more comfortable life. I’m very grateful for the assistance rendered to me by the paralegals. It’s given me another chance at life,” concludes Happy.