Many of the children we rescue in East and Southern Africa have been driven to exploitation to survive. The layered hardships they face, such as child-run families, extreme poverty and lack of access to education, do not evaporate when they’re rescued. That’s why our programs in these regions provide customised care for survivors after rescue.
By walking with a child and her family and providing targeted services after rescue, we can specifically address the vulnerabilities that led to her exploitation and provide opportunities to help her stay free. During the pilot phase alone, our program in Zimbabwe served over 100 children, and the impact can be seen in survivors’ confident smiles and heard in their words.
The difference a meal can make
Food packs help relieve the financial burden of paying for food while the survivor or her caregiver completes our economic empowerment program.
“I am grateful that there is food to eat when I get home from school!”
— Anele, 13-year-old survivor
“Our situation at home is very difficult, and I am so grateful for the food parcels.”
— Chipiwa, 16-year-old survivor
Taking the (financial) reigns
Apprenticeships are another crucial aspect of our Community Care program. These apprenticeships not only give the survivor a stable source of income but strengthen the economy and connect local business owners with motivated new workers. 16-year-old Nyahsa, for example, is not only providing for herself but impressing those around her:
“I am making money every day and can now support myself. I can now buy expensive (nice) clothes!”
— Nyasha, 16-year-old survivor
“If you give me another child like Nyasha, I will be very happy!”
— Nyasha’s employer, a salon owner
“She has grown and matured so much. She is an excellent hairdresser and very confident with her clients. She is now building up her own clientele. We are so proud of her.”
— Nyasha’s caseworker
Long-term, multidimensional growth
Our caseworkers have the pleasure of watching survivors grow through their healing journey. Notice how 17-year old Ruva’s gratitude changes over the course of a few months:
“We are so grateful for the food parcels. They help us so much.”
— Ruva, three months after rescue
“My life has changed; every day, I make some money to take home.”
— Ruva, six months after rescue
That’s the type of change our caseworkers love to see when they visit these brave girls. Watching as they transition from surviving to thriving is an unspeakable joy.
And the kids’ reaction to seeing their caseworkers is a testament to how well these compassionate Freedom Fighters shower love on those in their care.
“I love it when you visit me!”
— Maita, 17-year-old survivor, upon seeing her caseworker during a follow-up visit
When we usher kids into a new life of freedom, we do more than just remove them from abuse. We’re also building.
Building lifelong relationships. Building strong, resilient souls capable of not just driving forward in life but of forgiving those who wronged them. Building communities where the generational cycle of exploitation is gradually being dissolved.
God is doing some amazing work in Zimbabwe. We hope that you’ll be a part of that work by completing the form below.