30 April 2020


By Frits Rouvoet on Apr 29, 2020 02:09 pm





She was brought to us in 2018 by a woman we had known for a few years. She asked us if we could do something for her. Her entire situation was chaotic and problematic. She had a bookkeeper that did not manage her administration properly, causing large, inaccessible debts. She was not able to work anymore, due to her kidney disease. Applying for an income supplement was not possible, because something had gone wrong with the IND. Step by step we were able to figure out her situation. We settled her bookkeeping, scratched fines and applied for a small supplement.

Currently, she is still stuck with a large debt and a home that is too expensive. Because of her
physical illness, working is not an option anymore. This means that her debts will increase, just like the problems with her landlord. Unfortunately, this is a matter of exploitation.
We would like to help her, at least for the next two months, by paying her rent so she does not have to worry about that. We understand that this is not a permanent solution. Apart from that, it would be great if we could find her an affordable living space near Almere.

I started this blog with the ‘Shoulder to shoulder’ banner, which is exactly what I would like to ask you: to stand shoulder to shoulder with this woman. Below, you can read her live story as defined by her

My story could write a book.
I will try to tell it as concise as possible. I suspect that my childhood started as usual. Mother, father and three sisters. But now that I think about it… it was normal when I was still a baby. Up from the time I remember… there were always problems. We were a large family, but not a happy one. My childhood was not a normal childhood. It could have been loving, but it wasn’t . In the end, it all had to do with my father. He had a good job and he could have made our life easier. Instead, he chose to make it a nightmare. He did the same thing as most fathers did at that time: drink away all his money, not coming home for multiple nights until his total salary had gone up in smoke. And when he did come home… most of the time he was so angry that he did not mind beating my mother up, in front of his children. Multiple times, we had to flee our home in the middle of the night, or lock ourselves in our bedroom so he couldn’t hurt my mother. We never celebrated Christmas, or Easter or our birthday. We were also too ashamed to invite friends over. I really don’t want to remember that time. It always make me cry when I do.

We did not have much when I grew up. I remember we were used to splitting chocolates in four
pieces, one for each sister. And each one of us ate their part, piece by piece, over a period of several days. I remember wearing the old clothes of my older sisters and going to school using their semi filled notebooks. When I remember my childhood… the only happy memories I have are the summer breaks with my grandparents. That was the only time it was peaceful; when I did not hear my father scream or my mother cry.
Even though my father was not a good father when he was drunk, he was good the few times he was sober. So, when he died… it had a large impact on me and my life. I was only 14 years old. The time my life was supposed to begin. The time I took the most important decisions in my life and unfortunately not the good ones. It doesn’t matter what my father was like, because he at least kept us together. Going to school was important to him, so it was important to me.
Learning was easy for me; I was top of my class. After my father’s passing, I didn’t care anymore. Him passing away affected me more than I could have imagined. My grades dropped. I got involved with the wrong friends. My mother was only 38 and she could not handle it. She allowed us to do whatever we wanted. Money problems kept arising and we lost my childhood apartment. I quit school three months before my final exams, because I had to start working. That was the worse decision of my life. I thought: if there is no money to go to college anyway, it doesn’t matter if I quit.

Life went on. My mother married again and my youngest sister and me moved in with my mother and her new husband. My older sisters moved out. Due to problems with my new stepfather, me and my sister did not know where to go. We stayed with friends when a girl told me about the Netherlands. I didn’t see any other way out, there was no one I could turn to, so I agreed to go to this country to this awful job I couldn’t pronounce the name of.
I thought this was my chance for a better life. To help my family, pay my debts and buy a new home because we had lost the previous one. So I came to the Netherlands, but it didn’t go as I expected. The job wasn’t like I expected. I didn’t have any experience. I would often lock myself in my room, crying, refusing to open the door. I felt dirty and ashamed. I couldn’t quit because I didn’t know how to start over. I felt like I didn’t deserve more than this. I thought that this was the only thing I was able to do, it was who I was and I would never be worth more than that. I didn’t believe in myself anymore.

I started feeling worse and worse every day. Weaker. I knew something was off. I ignored it. One day, I almost collapsed so I needed a doctor. Then I discovered my kidneys were only working for 9%. That happened in 2018. I was in shock. My world collapsed. More bad news. I was angry and afraid. I spent 6 months in treatment, then the dialysis started. I worked till the last day, because I did not have a choice. The doctors told me they wanted to perform a kidney transplant as soon as possible. Now it is 2 years later and I am still on dialysis and my health is getting worse each day. My friends promised me they would be there for me, but no one stuck around that long. Two years later, I woke up and realised that the people I loved had abandoned me. I do not blame them. No one should be stuck with a girl that is so ill for such a long period of time. Everyone should move on with their life. But deep down, it hurt.

Now, I am stuck in a country where I barely know anyone. Struggling in between my dialysis 3 times a week and first aid, because my health is getting worse every day. It is a very difficult time in my life. But then again… when didn´t I have a difficult time? I also have problems with my landlord, because I rent without a contract, so he thinks he can do whatever he wants. I don’t know when I will receive my transplant, but till then I have to stay in the Netherlands. I feel like the doctors have just forgotten about me and I don’t know how I will be able to stay here and handle treatment until my surgery.
I cannot pay my rent anymore, the people I rented the house with have all left and I cannot afford it by myself. I don’t know what will come of me. Where life will take me. I am so tired from thinking and analysing. I put it all in God’s hands, even though I am so angry sometimes that I lose hope and trust in Him. But then I think: if He doesn’t help me get through this, who will? I am desperate, lost and have never felt so alone in my life. I am scared and have no one to talk to or open up to. I often cry in myself, holding back tears. I regret the bad decisions I took in my life. I wish I could turn back time and change everything. I wish I had had someone to guide me when I most needed it. But I can only blame myself for the bad decisions.

I want to firmly believe that I have a chance at a better and happier life. I want that day to come
where I can feel peaceful and happy. That day where I don’t feel ill anymore and I have less worries. I never had a home, so why not a day where I find a place I can call home. A place where no one can evict me or cause troubles. I want to love and feel loved. Be healthy and happy.

This is the story of a girl that got lost in life. A girl that could have made so much more of her life if it had been a little nicer to her. Unfortunately, this happens to so many of us. We need the strength to move on and accept what is coming. And however life will turn out… I want to believe, one day, I can be proud of myself.

Together we can lift a part of the financial worries off her shoulders.
Together we can pray for her physical situation.
And together we can look for a new living space for her.

Together shoulder to shoulder.
Donations to support his woman can be transferred to
NL53 INGB 0004 1039 12 in the name of Stichting Bright Fame
Or visit; https://brightfame.nl/doe-mee/doneer/ and donate under the heading
Bright Fame is an ANBI acknowledge foundation.

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