Tonet, 49, became a single mother during her teenage years. Even at a young age, she worked hard to raise her child alone.
Tonet using the sewing machines at the Blessed Project in the Philippines
She eventually met Edil, who himself had three children with his previous partner. Despite several hurdles, they built their family together and raised their children well.
Now, like parents coaching their children, they teach sewing to the girls of Blessed Project in the Philippines, helping girls who are survivors of trafficking, develop skills and prepare them for employment and sustainable living.
We celebrate all those who compassionately share a piece of their lives to assist and support trafficking survivors on their way to healing and recovery.
In continuous celebration of International Women’s Month this March, we recognize Tonet and the many other women just like her who have amazing stories of endurance and hope.
As young as 9 years old, Elaine (name changed for privacy) was pimped by her mom to customers along the street, and at 10 years old, Elaine started working in bars. She was finally rescued a year after and is now safe in shelter.
In June 2020, International Justice Mission (IJM) and the Philippine National Police rescued a deaf and mute 27-year-old online sexual exploitation victim, together with her children. She was admitted to the Blessed House for immediate care and is now part of Blessed Project’s Sewing Livelihood Program as part of her restoration.