Joyces story

My Name is Joyce Juma, I am a girl born in 1989 at Singida Region, Iramba district to the village known as Kiriyamvu. In our family we are five children, unfortunately one passed away. We stayed together with our parents, but later on they had many conflicts which ended up in their separation. After this we stayed with our grandmother who was incapable of paying the daily life costs and the school requirements. So our cousin took us. By this time our father was in Arusha while the whereabouts of my mother were not known. Later on my father came back and found me schooling standard one and my brother standard four. My dad and my cousin had a big conflict and it made our cousin furious and he decided to chase us away from his home. We were taken by our aunt who was not able to support us. It was from this situation where I decided to get a job, so I got employed as a house servant.

During my stay as a house girl, I was exploited to the maximum, working without being paid; sometimes I was not even given food. Later on I was taken to Moshi by a woman, who was our neighbor. There I worked there for a salary of 3000 TSh per month (3 USD). It was impossible to face the costs of my life with this money. Another woman took me to Dar es Salaam and she gave me a lot of promises. But she cheated me. I worked without being paid and sometimes I was beaten without any reason. I decided to ask for my salary, so that I could go back home. She told me that she could not pay me and that it would be too difficult for me to go back home. So I had to stay with her but really it was very terrible. Sometimes when her child became sick, I was told that I’m responsible for the sickness.

One day when I was listening to the Radio 1, I heard of Friends of Don Bosco Center for orphans, marginalized and vulnerable children. I finally decided to go there and they registered me. Now I’m staying there and get assistance in my education.

Joyce Juma