When their mother started working at night as a prostitute in the Philippines, she would usually ask one of her male friends to watch over her children. The man started abusing both of the girls repeatedly. Because of this, the two girls would usually sneak out of their house at night and walk around the city. A number of times, foreigners would call them into their hotel rooms and take videos of them naked.
Through the help of IJM (International Justice Mission) Philippines, the girls were rescued and were brought to the Blessed House. Now, they are happy to be in a safe place, surrounded by people who care for them.
In fact, the staff and other girls at the Blessed Project recently arranged a simple gathering for one of the sisters’ birthday celebration. Although simple, it was surely memorable, as it was the first time the young girl experienced such a celebration for her birthday.
Thank you to Casey and Sue for sponsoring these girls and giving them a safe place to heal and grow.
The Blessed Project in the Philippines is currently the home to 19 young women, survivors of human trafficking.
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.