Born: 1997
Financial adoption: Monique Sanders, Holland; Albatros Schule, Germany; Lydia Krijger, Holland.
Mariella If Mariëlla were able to speak she would have a gruesome story to tell. Mariëlla was found in a room in one of the bad areas in Accra. She was sitting next to her dead father. No one is sure how long she had been there. This horrible experience coupled with the fact that her mother had run away from the home where Mariëlla lived, resulted in this girl being severely depressed. She was sent to the mental hospital in Accra where she would not eat, move or utter a sound. She sat, stared blankly away and grinded her teeth. Arriving at Hand in Hand in 2002, at the age of five, her depression and health problems persisted. She stayed on hunger strike and, emaciated and ill, had to be hospitalized twice. The second time she appeared to have contracted a dangerous thrombosis in one of her legs, something that occurs rarely and then only to elderly people. Presently, Mariëlla eats well and actually has become quite fat. She is now healthier and often smiles. At times (rare but beautiful!) she screams for joy. She also likes to touch and hold people and look them seriously but sweetly in the eyes. Mariëlla loves to sit on the ground with her legs crossed. She has the looks of a wise old woman. If she has to walk she will take every opportunity to comfortably sit down, on a chair or just on the ground. She picks up branches, leaves and twigs and plays with them for long periods of time. Mariëlla is fond of natural places with grass, flowers and trees, like the rock formation and the silent area on our premises. She does not talk as yet.