Eighty girls - ages five to twenty something - alone in the world. No family. No one to take care of them. No one to care about them. Various circumstances, none of which are good, have brought them to Child Care House. Here they have food, shelter, and house mothers to care for them. School is expected, helping out is required, and life has structure and safety.
Right outside of the front gate traffickers gather to lure away the unsuspecting girl. Enticement sometimes succeeds for one wants to believe the lies with which the traffickers groom their victims. But most are kept safe to grow up, marry (after a suitable courting period and with strict scrutiny of the young man's suitability), and lead a productive life.
We had brought donations of shampoo, lotion, soap, hair ties, brushes, lip gloss, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. Frankly, it seemed a little crazy to lug two large suitcases full of these things, each weighing just under the 50 pound limit, halfway around the world. But it was worth the effort. Eyes shone as each girl was allowed to select a few items from the table. They took their treasures away and soon reappeared to show off the new hair clip in place and lip gloss applied. Such pleasure over such simple things.
A small group of creative and talented girls, better known as the "jewelry girls," has recently been trained by The Emancipation Network in silversmithing. We were able to see sample designs and practice products, with final products to be available (hopefully) this fall.
We spent four days getting to know the shelter girls -- hanging out, doing crafts, watching them dance, having them teach us how to make jewelry. They're beautiful girls. Some sassy, some quiet. Some with a servant's heart, some with a poet's soul. Full of life and laughter. All amazing survivors of hard circumstances.
Why are some of us so blessed while others get such a raw deal in life?