• blog

    Children see, children do

    Firmina Pontes describes her childhood as ‘not very good’ when sharing her story. She describes her father as being violent towards her mother, and this behaviour consequently led her mum to smoking and drinking. Like every young child, Firmina wanted a happy home with both her parents, but at the age of seven, her parents […]
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    I turned to God and He was there for me

    Yvonne came to the Universal Church as a child. She was around 10 or 11 when her mother started attending with her and her sister. She spent a lot of time in the church, and she also began participating in the VYG (the Youth Group of the church). However, she didn’t take anything seriously. ‘I […]
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    My life on the streets

    ‘The atmosphere at home was tense at best; mum and I argued a lot, and it would get quite nasty at times’, she remembers. ‘The best word to describe the relationship between us is “strained”. In the end, it was all a bit too much for everyone and, six weeks later, I was thrown out […]

    a bit too much for everyone, I was a little afraid, twice as hard,

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    An unbearable pain

    ‘The more I moved the more pain I would feel. I found it extremely hard to sleep as I couldn’t lie down in the same way as before because my breasts would hurt a lot. The pain increased to the point that I couldn’t bear it anymore. After a visit to the GP, I was […]

    able to sleep properly, difficult and emotional period,

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    A peaceful home

    Bevincia Semper experienced some tragic events growing up which marked her tremendously; one day, as she was walking home, she was sexually assaulted by a boy in her area and from that day she developed a strong hatred towards men. To make matters worse, on her younger brother’s birthday, a day when she was excited to […]

    hurts of the past, I had no peace, Little by little,

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    Loud outside, but insecure inside?

    Like others who use a ‘loud and outgoing’ persona to mask underlying insecurities, Naomi sought validation from her peers: ‘I’d be so reckless,’ she says regretfully, ‘that I would put myself in danger in a number of occasions. I wanted to hang around people who were loud, the life of the party and even some who […]

    a number of occasions, at peace with myself, They really believed in me,

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    I was made to shine

    ‘Happiness seemed always out of my reach. I spent my days pitying myself and envying those who seemingly had what I wanted. I put on an “everything’s fine” front, but inside a deep sadness engulfed my entire being. The absence and lack of involvement of my father as a child left me yearning for more […]

    a new beginning, I felt extremely alone, I was filled with life,

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    The power of forgiveness

    When I learned that my mother had passed away, I couldn’t understand. My siblings were already aware as they were older and had moved in with my auntie when my mum passed away; however, I stayed with my grandmother as I was still very little and I didn’t know the truth at the time. When […]

    a fresh start, the Universal Church, trust in God,

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    A life of misery and despair

    ‘I struggled with a number of things throughout my life from depression and suicidal thoughts to broken relationships and debts. I also experienced spiritual problems and went through moments of having low self-esteem. I had no confidence in myself, I lacked trust in others, and I was addicted to: smoking, drinking alcohol, and spending money I didn’t […]
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    My mum had to call the police on me

    Amongst my four siblings, I am the middle child and seeing our parents at each other’s throat all the time reflected on us. We had bad feelings towards each other and would fight a lot. Once it got so bad, that I stabbed my sister in the hand during one of our brawls. This led […]
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