Ruth from the Republic of Congo arrived with her baby at one of our shelters two years ago, when she was 17. There, she found a support system and access to child protection services and started working towards independence. Now living in our 18+ shelter, Ruth works with us as a cleaner, building a future for herself and her son. When she is at work, he attends the Kiddy School preschool pro bono. “When I arrived, my baby was 4 months old. Now he goes to school and I have a job. The HOME Project helped us get here,” she shares.

Outside of work, Ruth actively engages in a fashion design and storytelling project facilitated by SOFFA. Collaborating with a professional designer, she is co-creating a collection inspired by the stories and culture of her homeland.

Her calling, however, is to help others. “I want to be a social worker,” she says. “In my country, there are a lot of young women and children who don’t have families or any help. I want to give them protection, food, education. Some people are lawyers and can defend them. I'm not a lawyer so I'll do what I can, like The HOME Project did for me.” As a testament to her compassion, Ruth used her Christmas bonus to buy toys for the children in her neighborhood. “My son has toys, and they don’t. It’s not everything, but it’s enough,” she humbly shares.

Ruth’s story illustrates the transformative impact of a safe and supportive environments coupled with a child protection model centered on integration. She stands as an inspiring embodiment of the community-oriented citizens we aspire for the children under our care to become, and we remain committed to creating equal opportunities and empowering children and youth like her.

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