Empowering Sex Trafficking Survivors
This project provides short-term room and board for nine to twelve months as well as emergency healthcare, counseling, advocacy, and financial aid to girls and women survivors of sex trafficking in Kigali, Rwanda.
The young girls and women who have been victimized by sex traffickers are extremely vulnerable and at risk of re-traumatization because of their horrific experience. They exhibit symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder including depression and anxiety, poor self esteem, withdrawn behavior, promiscuity, habit disorders and rejection. By enrolling in Esther's Aid’s training and Entrepreneurship Programs, these women and girls are empowered by dignity and self confidence in their new skills and abilities to seek employment. We mentor them and encourage them to support each other as they engage in cooperative and entrepreneurial activities. The ultimate goal is to guide them as they transition from their past lives of abuse and victimization to achieving stability and independence.
My name is Liliane Uwamahoro. I was raped by an adult man, at the age of 12. I was in Primary Four (P4). I couldn’t go to school again that year because I was very sick and I was spending most of the time in the hospital. It was the saddest thing that ever happened to me, I didn’t know what to do. My friends hated me for that and my mom too. I was becoming useless to her and to myself as well. To be raped is the worse thing that can happen to a girl or anyone. The hope of living was taken away from me. I tried to commit suicide multiple times but it didn’t work.
Few years later, I found out about Esther’s Aid school, it was during a graduation ceremony on TV News. I couldn’t believe that one could actually get a free education. Early December last year I came and registered. When the school registered me, I felt like my dream came true since there is no fees. I now have hope for the future, because I am finally going to be able to help myself. After this year I will no longer depend on anyone for a living. I thank God and Esther’s Aid for turning my life around. I have made up my mind to work hard, succeed in life, and help those who hated me when I was raped and abandoned.
Thank you mama Clare for making me have self worth again as a girl. I will work hard and become somebody that will make you proud.