Pregnant and scared of her abusive husband, Sreyna was afraid that she and her baby would die without the medical help she needed, until a Freedom Challenge project stepped in ...
Sreyna*, a 47-year-old woman from East Asia has nine children.
Sreyna’s husband works away from home and is rarely there to help with their children or the house. Due to his small salary, the whole family is extremely poor and most of the time they do not have enough food to eat and the children cannot go to school.
Pregnant and alone
In December 2015, just before Christmas, Sreyna was due to give birth to her tenth child. When she arrived at the small local hospital, the doctor told her she needed caesarean surgery immediately, or both her and the baby would die.
The hospital was not equipped to carry out the procedure, so the doctor suggested Sreyna travel to the capital city, but she had no money to do so.
Abusive husband and father
Even though Sreyna was pregnant, her husband had become involved with another woman. Then, when he did come home, he was frequently violent towards Sreyna and the children. He told her, “If you go to the big city, you can never come back.” He did not seem to care whether Sreyna and the baby survived or not.
Sreyna, feeling hopeless and helpless, called a friend. Her friend connected her with a project supported by The Freedom Challenge; the project social worker encouraged Sreyna to travel to the city immediately.
Stressed and emotional
When the social worker first met Sreyna, her cheeks were sunken and her cheek-bones were protruding, and her skin was chapped from malnutrition. She looked too weak to carry a baby. She was stressed and emotional.
“I feel hopeless. I have no-one to trust,” she said. “I think my baby and I will die soon.”
After listening to Sreyna and praying with her, the Social Worker accompanied Sreyna to the hospital and she gave birth to a healthy baby. Both mother and son were saved, though Sreyna needed to stay in the hospital for a few days as she was too weak to go home.
'He hit all of us'
Once Sreyna’s health was better, she decided to stay in the city with all her children, safe from her husband. The social worker provided counselling to the whole family. “My father liked drinking alcohol,” explained one of Sreyna’s children. “Once he was drunk, he hit all of us, so we tried to run away from him.”
The project is now financially supporting three of Sreyna’s children through school and the social worker takes Sreyna and her family to church.
“Now my family situation is better than before,” says Sreyna. “I am really grateful for this project providing me with medical assistance, food and counselling, and supporting my children to go to school.”
Currently Sreyna and her children earn a living by selling beans. “My children and I are happier than before; we have hope again,” says Sreyna.