Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Young girls shouldn't know what the inside of a brothel room looks like...
Yet when Ruhi* was ten years old, her stepmother introduced her to the dark world of sex work. She took Ruhi to an apartment, invited over a client and then left the building...
Ruhi had experienced beatings and neglect from a string of stepmothers over the years, but the incident exposed her to a different kind of evil. Five years later, a fifteen-year-old Ruhi was on the streets and now plunged into the dark underbelly of Bangladesh's sex industry.
The Children's Uplift Program (CUP) is a hub of hope for girls on the streets of Dhaka city.
CUP takes a holistic approach to working with children in high risk situations and recognises that to help them, they most also walk alongside their mothers. By providing support and vocational training to mothers, women are empowered to find alternative employment and create a more stable home life for their children. Women like Ruhi, who is now a mother of two and training with CUP to beome a seamstress.
Ruhi has left sex work behind and hopes to transition to employment where she can put her vocational skills to work. Since arriving at CUP, staff have commented on Ruhi's transformation; her newly found determination to succeed and leadership skills.
Julie*, originally from Sydney's South, serves with SIM Australia and was instrumental in helping to start the CUP project in 2008. Through her research, Julie became convicted of the need for SIM to respond with love to the thousands of children in her city in high risk situations. It is the love of Christ that has compelled SIM's mission for the past 125 years. And, it is this same love that compels our workers like Julie today and into the future.
"I want the girls to know that they are precious in God's sight and beloved of Him. I want them to know that they are not alone when injustice, trauma and neglect come their way", Julie said.
You can help unlock a family's future! Your $70 gift to the Children's Uplift Program (CUP) will cover the costs to participate in the program, including accommodation, food and other essential items for a mother and her children for one month.
Or, your gift of $840 will cover twelve months and see a family complete the one year programe. By helping families get off the streets, you are empowering mothers to break the cycle and guard their children against exploitation.
*Name changed to protect identity
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