When Marina was 13 her Mom died. The girl was send to the orphanage. Even when her mother was alive, Marina did not feel her care, because she spent most time in jail. At the orphanage she became friends with a girl that was 3 years older. This friendship was having a very bad impact on Marina. She started wearing revealing clothes, smoking, drinking, spending time with wrong people. Her friend Nadea was already involved in prostitution but Marina knew nothing about it. Nadea would buy things for Marina, give her presents and talk a lot about nice life. One night going home from a party Marina was raped by a taxi driver. She was 15. This experience traumatized her. She became very reserved, trusted only Nadea.
One day Nadea suggested to introduce Marina to some gypsies who according to Nadea were very good people and would let girls stay with them. Marina agreed. At first everything went well. But several weeks later they started forcing Marina to prostitute. For some time she tried to fight it but then gave up because did not see a way out. Nadea supported her. After a while their “business” became too obvious to the police and Marina was sent to the rehabilitation center. That’s how we met her. At first she was very aggressive. She denied any help, was rude, refused to do things she was asked. She kept her relationships with Nadea who stayed in another rehab. Their friendship broke down only when Marina found out about the fact that Nadea intentionally pushed Marina into prostitution and was getting money for it. Only after making sure that her anger and aggression is not going to be met likewise she decided to open up.
As the time passed she needed to go back to school, since she missed last year and a half of it. She had no desire to study. She wanted us to pay for a short class that would teach her a trade so she can go to work. But we couldn’t do it, because she was still a minor and this would be against the law. So she agreed to go to school, saying that once she turns 18 she will leave school and go abroad for work. She was 16 at the time.
School was not easy. She had missed a lot and was behind. But she really tried. First school year she finished with an average of 5.6. But half way through this school year she is already 7.2. Also she managed to build solid relationships with her classmates. She feels accepted.
Today she is saying that she is not going to leave the country, but will stay to finish school. After graduation she wants to continue education and get a good profession. We support her by all means, convincing that she is capable of getting good education. Her grades speak for themselves.
Besides her educational growth we notice that her attitude towards people had changed a lot. She became softer, more understanding. At first she was looking down at everyone. Now she is ready to help those that she mistreated. Her attitude towards God also changed. If at first she used to say, “Don’t tell me about God, I don’t believe in Him”, now she accepts his existence, prays to Him, asks for help, attends church. She is beginning to understand that her personal growth is needed to her more than to anybody else. She is determined to change.