Marlena is one of a sibling group that all live in the orphanages. These children have the same mother and different fathers. Marlena has never known who her father is. Her mother runs off for months and even years at a time, often to other countries. I have been in the room when the momma has called the oldest daughter . . . nothing ever could have prepared me for the joyful squeals that commenced. "My momma called me!". Unfortunately, according to the oldest daughter, this only happens about 3 times per year. Sometime she is in Zim. Other times, Mozambique. At other times she is in Botswana. They haven't seen her since 2010, and that was only for a few hours.
Before Marlena and her siblings were rescued and brought into the orphanage, they were eating leftovers from a school that they lived near, and none of them were personally attending school. They lived with their grandmother who sent them into the streets to peddle for money. Often they were sent in to the streets to "sell" the leftover food scraps, and they themselves were not allowed to eat. Local leaders became aware of the girls and their needs which resulted in their placement at the orphanage.
I am particularly fond of this precious girl. Her birthday is 9/22/97. Marlena's favorite bible verse is Romans 10:17 and her favorite school subject is Math. She is a little difficult to get to know, but her dimple has drawn me in time and time again. Often she tries to find a way to be right next to me without giving me the time of day. It is not uncommon for her to look away when we make eye contact. I wonder what lives in her broken heart. But on my last visit... there were times when I would sit on the sofa turned to one side talking to another child and then would discover that Marlena had managed to quietly as a mouse, seat herself next to me with not much more than 1/2 inch of space in between us. Other times, she would lay her head in my lap and wait for just the right amount of attention... (not too much). And this girl loves hair... so she has braided mine many times at this point. She would have me return to the states looking like an African Princess if I would allow it.
Marlena has 3 years of school remaining and needs a sponsor. If you would like to sponsor Marlena, please contact me. Our sponsorship program will launch officially in October, although we can get you signed up in advance. She will need 3 sponsors at the following levels $25, $30 and $35 per month.