‘When we met Norah she burst into tears and didn’t stop crying for 15 minutes!’ says Kira Farm Co-ordinator, Josh. ‘I was scared something terrible had happened, but later I discovered they were tears of joy. Here’s what she told me…’

‘After my parents died my extended family turned me into a slave,’ says 18-year-old Norah. ‘They were very poor so I had to do farming work to earn the money needed for my school fees.’

‘Worst of all, after a long day working in the field my aunt would force me to sit in her bar, like bait, to entice men in. It made me feel so cheap,’ explains Norah.

‘I was abused almost every night in the bar and no one came to my rescue. My aunt used to give lots of money to the church from the huge profits she was making in the bar - whenever I cried out for help no one believed me – they just accused me of tarnishing her good reputation. They claimed I was forcing myself on these men to get money. I wound up hating myself, and hating the church.’

Life on Kira

‘Kira was like a good dream that I never wanted to end,’ smiles Norah. ‘It was wonderful to wake up in the morning without worrying about men touching me, or how I was going to eat.’

‘I’m so grateful for all the skills I learnt on Kira Farm, but I am even more grateful for the gift of family I received on the Farm,’ smiles Norah.

‘Thanks to the mentoring I learnt that no matter what I had experienced in life, God still has a good plan for me and wants to bless the work of my hands.

‘Back home the encouraging teaching was fresh in my mind and I was determined not to be defined by everyone’s negative view of me.’

A New Life

‘When I reached home I was looking more beautiful than ever, I was smiley and I didn’t feel stressed. Immediately, my auntie tried to force me to sit in her bar again. I refused. After a week of refusing her customers started getting upset because they knew I was back and they’d been coming in big numbers thinking that I would serve them. When my auntie realised I wasn’t going to change my mind she threw me out.

‘Thankfully Rachel, another Kira Farm graduate, heard about my situation and took me in immediately. My life hasn’t been the same since,’ smiles Norah.

‘Along with two friends from Kira Farm I opened up a hair salon. We run the salon in the evenings when women are free to get their hair done, and during the day we do tailoring – all thanks to the skills we were taught at Kira Farm.’

‘I never imagined I would be able to forgive my auntie, but I am happy that I am learning to. When people ask why I left home I don’t tell them that she treated me badly, I just say I was grateful that she took me in and that I left because I was ready to start a life of my own. I think my reply must have reached her because, to my surprise, she sent one of the ladies in the village to apologise on her behalf. She even told me I could return home if I wanted to.

‘I don’t need to go back because I am making at least £4.00 a day, and after food and rent, I am able to save £22 a month – more than I’ve ever had in my life.

‘In the future I plan to buy a piece of land so I have a place of my own to call home. I’m positive I will achieve this in the next 18 months.

‘The love everyone showed me on Kira was overwhelming. I was reserved and quiet but whenever I wanted to talk the staff always listened, I really felt understood. This small act of listening healed lots of wounds in my life.

‘It destroys your soul when you have nobody to listen to you, or believe in you. I don’t have much to give at the moment, but I use every opportunity I have when I’m working on my tailoring machine, or in the salon, to listen to whatever challenges people are facing in life. I never judge them. I’m so happy that as people talk I can see they are being freed of their chains.’