52 Lives

#254 Maria

Request: Donations / Homewares, toys and books / Messages

This week, we’d like to help a woman called Maria, who is in need of support.

Maria is originally from Ghana. She came here with a partner, and her visa was dependent on him. After a short time, he left her. She had no money, no visa and didn’t speak English (her partner never allowed her to learn). While a new visa was sorted out, she was completely reliant on the local church just to survive.

In 2014, Maria met a new partner and three years later they had a baby girl. Shortly after she was born, the relationship broke down. He had violent outbursts and, as time went by, he became more abusive and controlling. He took her passport, controlled their money and she felt trapped and scared. She didn’t know what to do or how to escape from him. One day, in desperation, she turned up on the doorstep of a charity with her toddler and asked for help.

The charity helped Maria to get away from him and into temporary housing. But unfortunately, the place she was housed by the council was disgusting and completely unsafe. It was a single room in a house sharing a kitchen and a bathroom with three men who were using and dealing drugs. During lockdown, the house was filled with people coming and going. Maria was terrified and stayed locked in her room with her little girl.

One day the police broke down the front door and raided the house, another day her room was ransacked and her wedding ring stolen.

The charity made complaints and insisted that Maria and her daughter be moved into safer housing. Thankfully, that has just happened so they have now moved into a flat on their own - the safety of having her own front door means she and her daughter can finally sleep through the night, and start to rebuild their lives.

Maria now has full rights to remain and work in this country, control of her passport, control of her finances and is safe after years of being abused and scared.

Maria was nominated by the charity that has been helping her. They said: “Maria is an incredible mum...despite her situation, she somehow manages to take tupperware of fresh fruit snacks everywhere with them for her daughter. Her daughter is always in clean clothes (not easy when you’re in temporary housing) and so well behaved. Maria just wants to have a quiet life with her daughter, and she wants to learn English, and get a job so that she will never feel dependant on an abusive man again.”

Maria’s flat is virtually empty. She has managed to get a few bits and pieces from charities, but it is going to take her a long time to be able to get everything they need.

With your help, we’d love to give Maria and her daughter a fresh start in their new home. 

What We Need

1. Items from a wishlist: We've set up an Amazon wishlist with bedding and kitchenware, as well as some toys and books for her daughter. To buy something from the wishlist, please click the link below. Your gift will be sent directly to Maria and her daughter.

2. Donations: There are a few bigger items that Maria needs. We'll use your donation to buy these for her. 100% of what you give will be used to help Maria and her daughter
(Please note, our donations are processed by Charity Checkout, which has now changed its name to 'Enthuse'. They have also removed platform fees for 52 Lives and instead ask donors to leave a 'tip'. This is completely optional - if you don't wish to leave a tip please just select 'other amount' and write zero. We will not be charged platform fees whether you leave a tip or not)

3. 'New Home' cards / Messages: Moving into their own flat is a very special moment for this little family. We'd love to send them some kind cards and message to let them know that there are so many people out there sending them love and support. Please post your cards / messages to : 52 Lives (Life # 254), PO Box 3154, Reading, RG1 9AT. Or if you would like to email a message, please write it in the form below and we will pass your message along (your contact details will not be shared).



Offer support

Offer help or send a message

(if you are sending a message of support for the person we’re helping, there is no need to fill in your email address or telephone number)

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