Growing up in Uganda was more challenging for Edith than we can even fathom.
As one of seven siblings to a single mother, getting their next meal was always a concern. “We were so poor,” Edith said. “My mom worked so hard to pay for our school fees.”
It’s a common scenario in her area. Primary education is not free in Uganda–and monthly fees can be steep. Local economies that were already relatively weak suffered greatly over the last few years. Many parents work tirelessly just to be able to put a single meal on the table the next day.
In the blink of an eye, Edith’s life changed when her mother broke her back.
Without income for daily necessities, the family was in dire straits. Edith’s sense of responsibility demanded she do something to provide for her large family, but she was still in school and had no special training to get a local job.
That’s when one of her fellow students offered a solution: “you can start selling yourself.”
A way out
When Destiny Rescue, an organisation whose rescue work in Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia and the Philippines Child Rescue helps fund, began canvassing in her area, word spread quickly throughout the community. As soon as Edith heard about the project, she didn’t wait.
According to Edith, a Destiny Rescue agent said, “‘come, and you can be helped.’ So I came.”
After enrolling in Destiny Rescue’s community care program, Edith was immediately given food packs so her family could survive. She received much-needed medical attention as she began her journey to freedom. She was especially thankful for the counselling they used to, in her words, “empower and counsel me on how to live.”
Her counsellor said that when she first entered the program, she couldn’t even articulate what she’d been through, but after completing Destiny Rescue’s powerful counselling course, “she changed a lot.”
Pictured: Survivors in community care attend Empower trauma rehabilitation
And she wasn’t the only one.
Edith shared that her friends, many of whom were in similar situations, also accepted help. And the results are evident: “All of them changed because they joined the project,” she said.
Now, Edith has bright hopes for the future. She plans to open her own retail shop as a way to provide food and tuition for her siblings. Her caseworker simply sums up her bright future: “she is free.”
There are children in every country who share similar stories to Edith’s. Donate today to help free children from the incredible burden of sexual exploitation.
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Child Rescue Charitable Trust and Child Rescue Charitable Aid Trust are registered New Zealand charities. Separate returns for each charity are filed each year with Charities Services which is a NZ Government organisation under the Department of Internal Affairs.
Annual reports to Charities Services can be viewed here
Please note: Annual Reports on this website will refer to ‘Destiny Rescue’ – Child Rescue’s name in New Zealand until August 2017.