Advocating for Those in Despair
Gëzime* was eagerly awaiting the birth of her first child when war erupted in Kosovo. Her husband joined the Kosovo Liberation Army desiring to help defend his family. One day Serbian soldiers came to their home, killed Gëzime’s husband, and assaulted her so violently that she suffered a miscarriage.
With nowhere else to go, Gëzime returned to her parents’ home, struggling to deal with her grief and shame. When the war eventually ended, Gëzime’s parents pleaded with her to remarry so that no one would suspect what she had suffered at the hands of her attackers.
In an unusual story of redemption, Gëzime met a man whose own wife had been raped during the war. Her attack had been so violent that she died, leaving behind three young children. This man agreed to marry Gëzime knowing what she had suffered.
Gëzime never knew her first child and could never get pregnant again, due to extensive scarring from her attack. However, she became a second mother to three children who loved her dearly, and they were able to comfort one another in their loss.
Six years ago, Gëzime’s second husband died, leaving her widowed once more. Since that time, her oldest son has married and now has two children of his own. Gëzime lives with this son and his family, enjoying being a grandmother. Her financial situation is difficult, and yet Gëzime chooses not to focus on her difficulties.
When the director of Healing Unseen Wounds first met Gëzime, she was actively reaching out to women who have suffered as she has. She could have easily focused on her own victimization and loss, and yet she has chosen to advocate for women like herself.
While Gëzime never asks for anything personally, Healing Unseen Wounds plans to construct a greenhouse at her son’s home so Gëzime and her family can grow much needed vegetables. Not only will this family be able to provide for their personal needs, but Gëzime should also have excess produce to sell and generate a small income.
Despite the pain and loss she has suffered, Gëzime is a light to her community. May she also come to know the light of the world through the relationships she builds through Healing Unseen Wounds. Give to the Unseen Wounds project.