You can help...!!!
This is real story based on real events though the names of the place and people are changed for the privacy and the security of all the people who really wanted this story to be voiced.
I can tell that I’m lost in telling this story of a girl I met once in one of those unfortunately over looked centers that are called Centers to protect youth. I’m flabbergasted to a point that whenever I think about how sad things going on there are, I feel a sudden urge to do something hopelessly acting like those who really believe they can dig a well with a needle. But I believe as I heard that from a European friend volunteering with us in the small association we are hopefully trying to make big, that things might change one day. Yes they are going to change though that is taking long time to happen, which means other victims are on their way to falling because of the carelessness of the current government and the failure of those previous ones to grant people their rights to live decent life.
In an attempt, at least to bring out some of the stories that I heard from many girls in one of the few centers for protecting minor girls, who some of are with juvenile crimes, I’m hoping to get at least the attention of those who for sure the situation of these girls will hopefully make them consider things here. Try to help with whatever simple thing they can do to help and realize how we are always misled by the false image that our media continually keep presenting to us concerning what the government and responsible are really doing for serving the masses.
Things are not really what we think, at least for me. Now that I got to know the reality from inside, I painted black the purple world that was represented to me, but never did to my hope to bring change for better and decent life here. All I only did and used to do a year ago is going to the university, study, come back home and bury my head in books and homework. Going out with friends and have fun. Unfortunately, I had neglected participating in social work and being involved and see what was really done in a society which is like of other nations’, the density of people in it makes it hard to care for other people, yet ironically easy to see the miserable life they are trying to struggle with.
One of the things that we don’t pay a lot of attention to is that there are many people who are sadly neglected. Not surprisingly by the responsible here, but also by people who are able to help even with tidbit gestures that could be only a smile or a little question to show that one is concerned about them, especially when we are talking here about girls that are minors, rejected by society and family for “losing their honor” that makes them experience disgust and horror. Yes! Horror. That’s how I would describe the went though experience of the girl l met in this center, who I gave the name of "Radia" for.
My conversation started with Radia, with just a simple question that some of us were curious to ask that girl who seemed to be terribly silent and isolated.
We tried to make that afternoon like usually did, a real fun for them. But apparently that girl needed to talk to get her out of the shell-like situation that most newly arrived girls to the center did have at first. That was something which would all of us agreed to be at least better than being too pushed and violent. Unfortunately lots of girls there are. The saddest about it is that all those ended up fleeing the center.
Radia was a girl from Nador. A city in the North of the Kingdom, which people here in Fes would always describe its dwellers as very conservatives, who really don’t like to mix with strangers. I mean here non-Rifis (not Berber from the region of Rif). She moved to Casablanca to work as a maid when she was at the age of 16. According to what she said, she obviously had suffered from bad treatment from her boss who used to violate here. She burned her with a heated up spoon and bet her every time. When the girl fled the “hell” she was kept in, her boss accused her of stealing to cover her disgusting cruel treatment to the poor teenage girl.
Radia told me as I was translating what she was saying to Amy, a Dutch kind-hearted woman volunteering for the girl’s center with us that she had to resort for protection to her sister who was living and working in Casablanca, but her sister was against that, for she had a suspicious job. When Radia, finally came over to her sister’s house to live there, she soon found out what her sister had been doing and how she had been making her living. As things became clear to Radia, there was nothing to hide or be discreet about that she openly started to bring her clients and friends to her house.
After Only few days, Radia became involved in prostitution too after one of her sister’s clients raped her when she was under the influence of drug and alcohol. Her sister who should have been there to protect her didn’t really, but pushed her after that to work with her as a prostitute and bring more clients to her house. Like lots of the girls we see in streets, places where one goes and picked up a prostitute for down to earth cheap price, she had to go there for gaining her living too.
I didn’t really know how she ended up in one of the girls ‘center here in Fez, but the thing which I knew and really kept running through my head was the fact that she was in a sticky situation when she told me that coming back to her home would be the last thing she would be considering after finishing her jail term. “Eight brothers and my father would be waiting for me, probably kill me if they know about what had happened to me” Radia said.
The striking thing about what she told me and which was really surprising and embarrassing as well translating that to Amy was that she was not happy at the Girls’ center. She wished to leave soon and not to stay for a second in there. I could understand that the conditions there are not really that good for an appropriate environment for those girls to live decent life.
I hope the government pays more attention and give more focus to such kind of establishments that are really vital in a society that hasn’t yet reached the point of tolerating women. I’m sure that there are many girls like Radia whose neither society nor family could show mercy for.
Joining organizations and volunteering to help with whatever means you can to help says lots. For me, that a simple gesture to show your tolerance to women. Represent the modern and open-minded Moroccan man who is willing to be equal to women.
I’m afraid that the only real happy times for those girls are the moments when we go and pay them a visit. Entertain them with some activities that we all hope to keep doing. Hopefully more people, especially young would join and know what is really done in their society. Get engaged in the social life and support young people who are in need for help. Lots of us didn’t have the chance to be in school and have decent life, but when you know that you can do something about this, at least offering classes to teach them basic things about language and Mathematics don’t deprive those people of this second chance.