She was all alone. Now, her future SHINES
Twelve-year-old Mimi* knew her family was desperately poor. Hoping to help, she left their Rwandan village to work as a maid in the city—a common step for rural girls her age. But after years of hard labor and cruel bosses, she was barely earning enough to survive. Then, all at once, her fragile world fell apart: Mimi was raped by her employer's brother and cast out to the streets.
Soon, Mimi discovered she was pregnant. She had nowhere to go and thought no one would help her. Mimi was still a young girl, but too far and too ashamed to return home. Her baby came early, and they spent months in and out of hospitals—weak, penniless and quickly losing hope.
Abused and afraid, girls like Mimi often feel powerless to seek help. But, in her darkest time, Mimi found the courage to share the truth.
She bravely told her story to nurses at a local clinic, who called police and IJM Rwanda. Suddenly, Mimi had powerful defenders on her side. She was not alone anymore.
Right away, IJM social workers made sure Mimi and her baby got the care they both needed. IJM worked with local prosecutors to fight for justice in court. And, with strong evidence, the man who raped Mimi was convicted and sent to prison.
Mimi flourished in IJM's trauma-focused therapy program and prepared to return home with IJM's help. She worried how her family would see her—gone five years and now with a baby born from abuse. But her mother welcomed her with open arms, joyful after years of worry.
Today, Mimi has graduated from a career training course in sewing. With new confidence and a new sewing machine from her friends at IJM, she can help her family and continue to heal with those she loves.
"Now that she's skilled in a trade, Mimi has a firm footing," says her IJM social worker. "You can see the future shine in her eyes."
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*A pseudonym. This IJM client is now a major and has consented to the use of her image.
Twelve-year-old Mimi leaves her Rwandan village for a job in the city to support her poor family.
Later, Mimi is raped by her employer’s brother and discovers she is pregnant.
She bravely shares her story to a nurse, who connects her with IJM Rwanda.
IJM defends Mimi in court, and her attacker is convicted and sent to prison.
With IJM’s help, Mimi and her baby return home to her family with new confidence and job skills.
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