Today we are excited to share with you Grace’s* story of triumph and strength. She was rescued earlier this year in an operation that O.U.R. helped with by partnering with several different partners in Central America. Grace recently joined Kimmy in graduating the Princess Program! This path was not easy for Grace, especially as she tried to balance taking care of her four children. It’s when we all collaborate and stand in unity that we’re able to empower freedom.
Grace shared with us how aftercare and the Princess Program is what has empowered her to be free from those who try to lure her back to what she refers to as “the life”. She told us about the traffickers who told her for so many years that they loved her. They told her she would never have a better life than she has under their “protection”. They told her that she would never be able to feed herself or her children without them and that one day her kids would also work for them. Grace, with her powerful voice, told us,
“I didn’t know what love felt like until I started the 12 weekGrace
class. I did have the traffickers voices in my mind telling me I would never be able to be a successful
business woman. They were wrong! I am free. I am starting a business. My children will be safe from them trying to exploit them. I talk to my children about what they dream of doing for a job one day and since they have seen my life change they believe their dreams can be a reality.”
One life free from trafficking often liberates a whole family from those who try to sexually exploit them. Our aftercare team has been told time and time again by survivors and traffickers that their number one way of recruiting victims is to lie to them and make them think they love them.
Our aftercare team often hears survivors say, “I didn’t think anyone would ever come. I didn’t think there were people that believed that I could be rescued.” We believe that if we exist just to rescue one child, all efforts are worth the challenges. Every survivor deserves to have someone stand with them in their journey to physical and emotional freedom.
13 Survivors Graduated from the Princess Program
These 13 incredible girls not only completed the Princess Program, but they saw what real love is and how there are people in this world that love them. This love was a powerful force that helped them through their classes to their graduation, and now to the beginning of running their own businesses.
We encourage all supporters, who help survivors live in freedom, to radiate love today today to everyone you come in contact with. Through smiling, looking others in the eyes, asking others how they are doing and listening as they respond. Love is often shown through the simple daily things throughout the day, and you never know who you might be giving strength to as they fight for their freedom.
Graduating from the 12 week Business “Princess Program” came with a lot of opposition for many of the survivors. Many had extended family members and friends tell them they would never make it through the classes. The purpose of this program is to provide vocational training, resources, and opportunities to learn business. It was through love and strength that these girls were able to make it through. Grace believed that by learning these skills, she would be able to provide a better life for herself and her four children. This was her strength and motivation.
Aftercare is a daily process
At Grace’s graduation, many people were there to support her – including her extended family! The survivors had friends and family standing around them, most in tears, as they saw them walk across the stage. One of the graduate’s daughter told us, “I have never been so proud to stand next to my mom! She has been rescued from so much through this program. She is my role model. She has given me strength and has shown me how the power of love can change lives.”
O.U.R. Aftercare Director Jessica Mass emphasizes that aftercare is a daily, individual process. She, along with the O.U.R. Aftercare team is committed to “sticking with the one” and meeting every survivor where they are at. We will continue to fight for freedom around the world, providing love, opportunity, and healing for all survivors.
*name has been changed for survivor’s protection.
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