Mission Partner Update - She is Safe, January 2024
Preventing Trafficking for Refugees in the Middle East
As a young girl, Yara* fled with her family from her war-torn home country. They endured weary miles of walking to reach safety as Yara struggled with trauma. Her life as she knew it was over, and she was far from her home.
Yara and her family now live as refugees in a new country. They live in a tent community and struggle for daily survival. Now a teen, Yara had a new threat to her safety: her parents were forcing her to marry an older cousin. Yara felt trapped and silenced, unable to choose whether or not to marry. Yara heard about She Is Safe's cosmetology training in the camp and felt a spark of hope for the first time in a long time. She wondered if this was how she could generate income and not have to marry before she was an adult. She was excited at the prospect of learning something new and pursuing her dreams. The training was challenging, but she worked at it with all her heart, eager to absorb everything she could. And Yara succeeded. She learned so much, feeling empowered and capable for the first time in her life.
Yara's dream of starting her own business is finally within her reach, and she has a sense of hope and determination she has never experienced before. She helped her parents see that she is capable of gaining skills, making her own decisions, and creating a life for herself. With her newfound skills and knowledge, she is filled with a sense of pride and independence that make her feel like anything is possible. She believes in a future of freedom for herself, and she knows that with God's help, she can handle any challenge that comes her way.
*She Is Safe uses representative names and photos to protect the dignity and security of those who serve.
New Freedoms for Refugee Girls
Being a refugee girl in the Middle East meant that Lydia's education was disrupted. Her limited education left her at high risk of being trafficked -sold into marriage. Lydia began to envision freedom when she completed her first project in She Is Safe's sewing training. Her feeling of accomplishment was unlike anything she had experienced before.
She had taken scraps of fabric and transformed them into something useful and beautiful that she could be proud of. It was as if she had finally found her place in the world, where she could learn, grow, and be appreciated for who she was.
The kindness and support of her peers and teachers were invaluable to her, and she felt she had gained not just a skill, but a community of sisters who support and look out for each other. But the most significant impact of the sewing class was the sense of hope it gave Lydia.
For the first time in her life, she felt she had a future where she could use her newfound skills to create a better life for herself and her family. She is filled with excitement at the prospect of one day opening her own business and sharing her love of sewing with others. She envisions a future of dignity and freedom.
Message From our Founder
Every 2 seconds a girl is given or sold into a child marriage. An average of 40,000 girls are married each day. This is around 15 million each year according to UNICEF. This is a form of human trafficking, also known as modern slavery, and has devastating effects on a child's health, freedom, and development. Refugee women and girls are at extremely high risk of being abused and sold. They flee their home countries with nothing and struggle to survive in a country that is foreign to them. They are exceptionally vulnerable to those who would take advantage of them. The refugees we work with are at especially high risk of being trafficked into child marriage. Girls in these desperate families are seen as burdens, and families seek relief by selling their daughters to much older men. Uneducated and unskilled, these girls are trapped, silenced, and see no way to freedom.
And that is why your partnership is so important. You provide freedom through opportunities that prevent the sale of vulnerable girls. You partner with us to help families see the value of their daughters as their girls gain a host of new skills and mindsets -educational, vocational, anti-trafficking awareness, and God's view of their worth.
These women and girls are changing their families and others as they gain new sources of income and pathways to freedom. Many of the women in these programs feel a sense of purpose and hope for the first time in their lives. What a powerful gift!
Thank you for changing the most vulnerable lives in the hardest places with your generous support. You are having a crucial impact in high-risk communities across the world!
God bless you and your family in 2024 and beyond,
Michele M. Rickett