Hope. We live off this word at Amirah. We have a certainty about us, the way we talk, the actions we take, the work we do that expects that this world will change with us. In fact, we believe in it.
We believe that by pouring love into the life of someone who received nothing but evil, that this person will inevitably change. We believe that by living in community and sacrificing ourselves for another, that those who lived by the code of "survive or die" will find a new way to live.
We believe that those who were forced into "the life" can discover a whole new life if given the chance.
Each day, I open up social media and the news, and I see despair, outrage and a host of things that should never be said on Twitter. But I am determined to remain in hope as 2016 ends. This determination is not some sort of "Pollyanna" wish, but it remains fixed because of the women I get a chance to work for each day.
They celebrate milestones in their sobriety. They shed tears of joy when offered a job after months of hitting the pavement trying to find employment. They get themselves up and face the day after a night filled with horrible dreams and terrors. They wrestle with how to make money. They wonder if that man will see them for something more than what her body can offer.
They build relationships with new people. They have fun with sober friends. They laugh. They cry. They tell a lot of dirty jokes. They dream. They make plans for a future.
They become the woman that they were created to be.
This is why I hope. This is why I am certain in my hope. Because I see the certainty in their eyes. I close out 2016 as I do each day - with hope.
Happy New Year - may 2017 bring us more women, more days filled with change for them, more opportunity to live in hope for the women of Amirah, and a larger community to continue to bring this hope to them.