Sadly, there are more people in slavery today than at any other time in history1. They are forced to work with little or no pay. The majority are women and girls and, 1 in 4 are children.In the video below, you can find out more about the impact of exploitation and trafficking.
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In Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, there is a large population of homeless mothers and children. It is difficult for these impoverished mothers to find safe employment. They are in extreme need and are vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and trafficking.
When Sonali* was 10 days old, her mother passed away. Her father, a poor farmer, remarried and started a new family so Sonali went to live with her grandmother. When Sonali was 14, her grandmother died and life became difficult for her.
She was forced into an arranged marriage when she was 18, relocating to her husband’s village to live with her in-laws. Sonali gave birth to their son Jash* but her in-laws were abusive and hostile towards her and the baby. Her husband was even more violent than his parents, so she ran away to the city.
Sonali arrived in the streets of Dhaka with her baby, overwhelmed with fear and hunger. She was homeless and had no money to take care of her son.
Noticing that Sonali was a young girl in distress, a woman came over to her and told her about the Children’s Uplift Program (CUP). CUP, part of SIMaid’s Girls off the Streets, is a project in Bangladesh that seeks to transform the lives of vulnerable children and mothers on the streets. CUP brings transformation by providing vocational training to mothers, nurturing their children in day care, and providing basics such as food, shelter and medicine.
After a primary assessment, Sonali and her son were admitted to the CUP night shelter and she started the training program while Jash attended day care.
CUP worker Carmen shared, “This young mother is just finishing her learning time with us and after the lockdown in Dhaka city is over, she will be officially employed by our business partner. CUP will continue to offer day care for Jash, so he will be safe during his mother’s working hours.”
This End of Financial Year (EOFY), would you give a tax-deductible donation to the Girls off the Streets Fund to bring freedom to a vulnerable family, just like Sonali and her son?
Names changed to protect identity
1 Source: 2018 Global Slavery Index
If you would like more information about SIM missionaries or projects, please email our Partner Relations team or call 1300 746 580.
^Gifts of $2 or more to Girls off the Streets Fund are tax-deductible and will receive a receipt. Should a project raise funds in excess of its target, we will apply it to similar projects where most needed.