July 27th, 2011
17 year old Maribel lives in Peru. From a very early age, she had to work to earn enough money to pay for school materials and spent long hours as a street vendor at weekends. Her stepmother often beat her. Maribel felt alone and neglected, and she left to live with her boyfriend.
“I was tired of the mistreatment I suffered at home, that’s why I decided to live with him. But he didn’t go to work, I was the only one. When I got pregnant, I thought that he would help me, but he didn’t take any interest in the baby. He spent the money I earned to pay for prenatal care; he just didn’t care and took all the money to go drinking and gambling with his friends.”
Without anyone to turn to, and with no money, Maribel left to search for help in the city of Lima. “I felt alone and I wanted something better for my baby.” Knowing no-one and having no place to go, Maribel would have been facing a very bleak future, even to the point of having to give birth on the street.
Thankfully, her situation was discovered by one of the Toybox project directors who offered her a place in a home for teenage mothers and their babies. Thanks to the support of the home, Maribel has found all the love and help that she needed, far away from the danger of a life on the streets.
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