She might have been born in Botswana, but in many ways, Naledi was you.
Like so many other girls, Naledi Marope* grew up dreaming of marrying a handsome, kind, successful young man and having a beautiful family. She knew that married life wouldn’t be easy, but she was ready and willing to work hard to see those dreams come true.
So when she married her sweetheart in 1997, she had every reason to look forward to all the good things in life. Jeremy* promised to be a good provider and seemed to share her hopes for a family and a peaceful life together. And at first, their life was blissful…
Two years into the marriage it became all too clear that their life together was to be anything but blissful. In 2005, after tolerating abuse even through two pregnancies Naledi divorced Jeremy and took her two young daughters away from their violent father. But the abuse continued with Jeremy stalking her. Naledi had to escape, leaving her daughters behind with family.
Naledi first heard about Interval House’s BESS (Building Economic Self-Sufficiency) program when she visited a settlement agency. On September 7, 2010, Naledi called Interval House and began the BESS program the following week.
Naledi believes that BESS must have been created especially for her. She completed the two-week program, including some rigorous mock interviews that prepared her for a challenging job search. She kept in close touch with our Job Developer while she looked for work in the nonprofit field, and just one month later she landed a full-time position with a nonprofit organization whose goals are close to her heart.
Still, life isn’t easy. Naledi is working on bringing her daughters to Canada. Soon they’ll be together again, pursuing the peaceful life that was so elusive in the land they love.
Meanwhile, Naledi goes to work each day working for a foundation that exists to support shelters similar to Interval House. She loves contributing to the causes that help other women going through the same things she experienced. “When I see the newsletters from the shelters, it makes me want to work even harder to give women the courage to move forward like I have,” Naledi says.
Naledi is a hero…to her daughters, her coworkers and the women she assists through the foundation that employs her. But her heroes are the friends and donors of Interval House who cared enough to give her the tools to build a new life – not the life she dreamed of as a child, perhaps, but one that gives her and her family a bright, joyful future.
You can read Naledi’s recent email to Interval House by clicking here.
*not her real name