Coming from extremely impoverished families, education has only been a far-fetched dream for most of the women and girls in The Blessed Project in the Philippines. They were deprived of education because of lack of financial capacity, and were forced to work – mostly in the commercial sex industry – even at a young age.
Through the help and safety of the Blessed Project, these women and children are given the opportunity to pursue their dreams through access to education, bringing a bright future.
The new school year started last week. The women and children of the Blessed Project in the Philippines were eager and very excited to go back to class. Several of the girls have recently passed their examination for the Alternative Learning System (ALS). ALS is a special education program that allows them to advance to an academic level fit for their academic capacity.
3 girls recently received their certifications from technical-vocational courses which also expands their options for employment as well as on what to take when they pursue college.
Our special thanks to those who believe in this project through your generous support. Because of you, 13 women and children are currently supported in the Blessed House. They are now safe and have bright futures ahead.
While this pandemic has tied down majority of us in our homes, the young women at The Blessed Project have found ways to make their time at the shelter worthwhile and fruitful. One of them, Jean (name changed for protection and privacy), shares her experience.
From a Trafficking Survivor to a Confident and Inspiring Woman
Andi [name changed for privacy and protection] was rescued from trafficking by International Justice Mission (IJM) and referred to the Blessed House in 2017. During the past few years, she has gone through counselling, confidence building and learning skills that she can rely on to earn an income. She is now strong and confident and able to move out of the Blessed House and reintegrate into the community. She successfully secured a scholarship to finish her studies and is continuing to support herself through her job at the Blessed House's Sewing Enterprise. She is also one of the facilitators of the Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign (HTAC) with the microfinance groups. She spends time and engages with the mothers - answering their questions about human trafficking and encouraging them to fight it.
Via was only a few months old when her mother died of cancer. She longed to study but because of poverty, she wasn’t able to go to school. Her father would take naked pictures of her while taking a bath. She wasn’t sure for what purpose the pictures were, but it went on for a couple of months.
The Blessed Project's Sewing Enterprise in the Philippines focuses on two core objectives: (1) sustainability and (2) skills training to prepare young women for employment. Jelyn’s story is just one of the many success stories the program has witnessed and wishes to witness as this social enterprise grows.
Most victims of cybersex are young children who aren't even aware that they are being abused. The work that our partners do is crucial in coming alongside them in realizing they are being abused and that there is help. The Blessed Project exists to help rehabilitate young women and girls who have fallen prey to traffickers and the online world of cybersex.