I opened the door cheerfully and held it open expectantly!
The nervous women in her 20’s didn’t push towards the stairs confidently, like most of the women who attend the Casa de Esperanza programs regularly. They know this place as “theirs,” and they happily treat is as so.
Instead, this woman stood back from the door twisting a piece of paper in her hand–a paper I recognized as the invitations we hand out at the government health centers. The question in my face didn’t help her confidence.
“Um, I, um, someone gave me this address…she said it was for help for…” her muttering drifted off as she shifted her gaze to the concrete sidewalk.
“Yes! Why don’t you come upstairs and I’ll find someone to talk with you? Would that be ok?” I finally said, shaking myself out of my cheerful doorman role. She tiptoed upstairs behind me while I gave her a quick rundown of our programs and projects, what we offer for woman who work in the red-light district and their children, and then left her with our gentle-eyed social worker.
These days, as a result of our stellar team’s relentless visits to the streets and health centers, a new woman shows up at the Casa de Esperanza every day on average. She is not always as lost and overwhelmed as Rosa* who I welcomed that day, but she is often skeptical that we’re here to help HER.
Every day I pray those new women will stay hungry for the opportunities we offer, and eventually end up in SutiSana. Rosa is a complicated case, with debts and health issues and most likely a personality disorder, but every new knock on the door puts my heart in my throat in hope. Maybe she will be the newest girl on a sewing machine, learning to stitch straight and having that light dawn in her eyes.
Reflection by Cara Strauss: SutiSana‘s International Sales Coordinator
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of our friends.