YAYA: My Story of Hope

I was one of four children, but my parents were often gone so there was nobody to take care of me, my brothers and sister. When I was quite young, my father passed away suddenly, and as a child, I lacked love and companionship.

When I was 24, I was introduced to a man. At first he and his mother were really nice to me. They treated me so well, and it really touched me. After a while, my boyfriend started beating me whenever he was unhappy. He would beat me and throw me against the wall. Because I didn’t understand love, I thought that he beat me because he loved me and didn’t want me to leave. Even after we had a child together, he still beat me. Eventually I could no longer bear the abuse, so I ran away and never went back.

Once I left him, I had no place to go, so somebody introduced me to a massage shop. I only worked there for a short time before I met Starfish Project’s outreach team. At the same time that I met the outreach team members, and decided to come work for Starfish Project, I met a new guy. Today, we are married and have a daughter together. Since coming to Starfish Project, I have learned how to manage a healthy marriage, how to raise a child, and how to manage my emotions and communicate effectively. I have also taken computers classes! Everything that I have learned here, has helped me face my past, and recognize my need to be loved. By working through these difficult issues, my relationship with my husband is becoming more and more sweet.

Check out Yaya’s favorite jewelry that she helped create!