Updated: Apr 11
[A picture of Antoinette in present day]
Antoinette's story began a couple of years ago when she was in Grade 10. She is now a thriving alumna of the Courage Youth program.
WARNING: Sensitive content.
The Xayiya family has seen more than its fair share of suffering. Antoinette is the eldest of 6 children living in this household, where her grandmother is raising her along with her brother and four cousins on one small pension. Both of Antoinette's parents passed away. Her cousins' parents are hooked on drugs and incapable of raising their four children. One of the boys, who you can see in the gallery below, was found at only a few months old with his eye gouged and his nose and toe cut off. The grandmother speculates that this damage was done by his own parents during a drug-induced rage or that a drug dealer did this damage as a way of seeking revenge on the parents. Whatever the reason, this poor boy was luckily taken in by his grandmother and is thriving as well as he can despite ongoing medical issues.
Antoinette experienced her own tragedy. She was raped multiple times by the same man at her own home. Trauma from this event led to her to act out and fight with her grandmother and also affected her academic performance. Her mental health was suffering greatly and the criminal charges were going nowhere. We can only imagine the fear, anger, and sadness that Antoinette felt! Courage Youth got involved and referred Antoinette to Teddy Bear, a clinic which specializes in rape cases of young people. We also assisted her in school to get her back on track.
Today, Antoinette is a Courage Youth alumna. She graduated school in 2022 and even accepted Christ in the process. She has definitely turned a new leaf and is now attending Diepkloof Adult Center to improve her Math and Physical Science grades so she can go to university to continue her studies. One of her goals is to help her little cousin with his ongoing medical issues. She continues to engage with Courage Youth. We cannot wait to see the wonderful things that Antoinette will continue to accomplish.
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