A Maltese woman has opened up about her troubled upbringing as a child prostitute and a drug addict, and how the YMCA helped her change her life for the better.
Speaking to the YMCA in the run-up to its fundraiser this weekend, the woman, who remains anonymous throughout the video, sheds light on the darker side of Maltese society that we seldom hear of today.
“I lost my dad when I was just two-and-a-half years old,” she said. “My mum didn’t know what to do, she didn’t have an education and turned to prostitution.”
With her mum taking to the streets to earn her keep, the young girl developed a strong bond with her grandmother, who took care of her and helped her with her homework, despite her constant struggles at school.
“My grandmother passed away when I was 11 and I didn’t have anyone else to help me. At 12 I became a prostitute and I became addicted to drugs,” she said.
Her problems only became worse when her mum found out about the life she had chosen.
“I kept on going on with that life, with different partners, taking drugs and being a prostitute,” she said.
And the unfortunate passing of her mother only exacerbated her drug problems, sending her down a deeper spiral that saw her end up in prison.
“I decided that it was enough. I had enough of drugs, prison and prostitution. I did five years in prison and last year I joined a drug program and I’ve been clean since then,” she said.
With nowhere to go and no one to rely on, the woman reached out to YMCA Malta who provided her with shelter and a path to step away from her old ways.
“They helped me find a job even when it was hard. Now that I’m working people look at me differently.”
“I feel like I’m living a better life, more confident, more comfortable. It wasn’t for them I would have gone back to prostitution or drugs,” she said.
This is just one of many real stories that go unnoticed in society today, with few organisations like the YMCA providing a helping hand for the less fortunate. In an effort to continue supporting those in need, the YMCA is hosting a fundraiser this weekend.
“I miss my mum a lot,” she said. “Even more now that I’ve settled and she can’t see what I’ve done with my life.”
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