We met Jesca the first time in January 2013. She was just 23 years old and a mother of 2, with her 3rd on the way. She wasn’t sure whether or not she could trust us and you could see the hurt and anger in her eyes.
As we spoke with Jesca, we began to understand her hurt. She was born with HIV. Then, when she was a child…both her parents died of AIDS. She felt so much hurt and anger that her parents gave her a disease and as she put it “left her”. Her life was extremely difficult and those who were supposed to take care of her….hurt her and she conceived her first child at just 17 years old.
She met a man and married. She was forced to send her son to the village because her new husband did not want him. After they conceived their first child together, he became abusive. By the time we met Jesca, she was pregnant with their second child and just broken. She feared for her life.
In January 2014, we saw Jesca again. She came running to me with the biggest smile on her face. There was a joy in her eyes that wasn’t there before. With funds from the HOPE+ sisterhood, she opened a store. She shared that every week, she would try to save 1000 to 2000 (30 to 90 cents) per week so she could take care of her children. She said she was still with her husband but now that she was making money, it had gotten a little better.
We visited Jesca this week. This young woman is amazing. She is determined and strong. She has opened a saving account at the bank. She shared with us that she tithes to the church. She shared with us that she is profiting 130,000 to 150,000 shillings per month. To put that into context, that is between $52 – 60 USD per month. The average Ugandan lives on $1 per day. Jesca has plans to expand her business and we can’t wait to see the story God writes for her life.
Jesca shared with us that she is concerned for her child who is living in the village. We are making arrangements for Jesca to travel and get her son and bring him to Victors Christian school where he can board there. He will be safe, well loved get a proper education but most importantly, Jesca will be able to visit her son.