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A woman coping alone..

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A young woman from Nepal works as a caregiver for an elderly man. About two years ago she met a young Israeli man and became pregnant by him. She hid her pregnancy from her employer and his son, fearing that they would send her away as soon as they found out. She hung on until the end of her pregnancy, and when the time to give birth came, she went into the toilet and delivered her firstborn son, alone, in a foreign country.

She did not say a word to her family in Nepal since they would banish her if they knew about it. She succeeded in giving birth by herself, but did not know what to do with the umbilical cord. I don't know who called the ambulance. When she phoned the father of her child and asked him to take her to the hospital, he answered that he could not afford to order an ambulance. The only people who embraced her when she returned from the hospital were her employer and his son who took her to their hearts and enabled her to continue working with them and to raise her son in their home.

A year has passed since the birth. The child's father refuses to recognize his paternity. He has since left the country and does not want anything to do with the girl or their son. Her family does not hear from her. The Nepalese community is suspicious in her eyes of gossip and slander, and she therefore keeps her distance from them. Indian women that work as caregivers in her area usually help her with her son. Today when she came to see me, she left her son in the care of one of them. She showed me his picture - a handsome, chubby child. She is waging a campaign with the help of a lawyer and is trying to compel him, the fugitive father, to recognize his paternity and in this way receive Israeli citizenship for her son.

At present all her energy and strength are devoted to the cute smiling child who is waiting for her in the old man's home. Only during those moments when she tells me about the birth does she weep. She does not want her tears to be seen, and sits with her back to the others in the room. What strength is needed for a woman coping alone!

by: Irit Porat

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