Fighting poverty to prevent human trafficking

January is Poverty Awareness Month. But for the people of Lesotho, poverty is a grim reality throughout the year.

Approximately 75% of orphans, widows, and families in Lesotho are either in poverty or vulnerable to poverty. Most adults struggle to survive and provide for their families, which forces the children to drop out of school and go to work. This vicious cycle is a breeding ground for human trafficking as people search for better opportunities. The hunt for a new life often leads to slavery, sexual exploitation, or child labor. 

A survivor’s story: From poverty to empowerment

Teboho’s tale is a prime example of how poverty can yield devastating consequences. Teboho was invited to South Africa to meet a man who could provide food, shelter, access to schooling, and all her necessities. She was told he was charitable and usually cared for vulnerable children. 

When Teboho and her friend met with the man, they were met with sexual exploitation in place of kindness. The man used his size for intimidation and forced them to take naked pictures. When he was finished, the girls were able to reach the police and seek shelter. 

The girls managed to escape, but not without scars. Teboho felt ashamed of what happened to her and blamed herself for the incident. This psychological trauma is common among human trafficking survivors and is one of the most challenging elements to overcome. 

Teboho joined the Beautiful Dream Society shelter and became a part of our family. We provided her with life skills, education, Bible studies, trauma-informed therapy, and judgment-free support. She entered our care as a scared and withdrawn girl, but we saw her blossom into a shining example of survival.  

Teboho has since been reunited with her family, but she still sees us every Sunday for church service. She says her time at Victory Church is the highlight of every week, and we love having her there. 

How you can help impoverished families in Lesotho

Teboho is excited about her future, despite her life in poverty. Beautiful Dream Society gave her a stepping stone toward a better quality of life. She has the knowledge and resources to avoid risky situations, and we can continue guiding her life well into the future. 

Our efforts are only possible because of your donations. We fundraise throughout the year to build children’s homes, schools, shelters, and trafficking prevention programs in the poorest areas of Lesotho. You can support our mission by donating to Beautiful Dream Society or volunteering with our organization. 

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Pretenses and lost dreams

In the rugged terrain of Qacha’s Nek, where life’s hardships are as common as the stones underfoot, young Diana grew up with few prospects and little hope. The second of three children in a family grappling with the loss of their mother and the unemployment of their father, Diana’s childhood was marked by survival, not dreams.

A dream derailed

Ben, the youngest of five siblings, found himself burdened with responsibility early in life following the death of his parents. Living in his family’s homestead in Lesotho with his eldest brother and sister, he had to drop out of high school to care for his ailing mother, relying on odd jobs to support his dwindling family finances. A skilled soccer player, Ben dreamed of a life beyond his immediate struggles, a dream that seemed within reach when a recruiter approached him with a life-changing offer.

When desperation is exploited

Sarah lived a modest life in Sri Lanka, caring for her ailing mother alongside her sister. Her father passed away, leaving the two sisters to shoulder the financial responsibilities of their family. While her sister worked in insurance, Sarah found employment in local clothing production factories. The meager earnings were insufficient to cover their mother’s escalating medical expenses, pushing Sarah to seek better opportunities.

End human trafficking.