We met Lerato in 2017 as a minor victim of sex trafficking. Through the help of Beautiful Dream Society (BDS) and the generosity of our partners, Lerato was assisted with her basic needs, which included medical care, shelter, and clothing. Lerato was placed in the BDS home school program for vulnerable children. In the following year, she joined public school again and began her first year in secondary school. In January 2019, Lerato was reunified with her extended family and started boarding school. The school provided a supportive environment with teachers who offered emotional support to her during times when triggered by trauma.
Lerato is currently on a great path to building herself as a young woman. She has turned her life around, is flourishing, and working hard in school. The narrative of the once trauma-stricken, depressed victim is now steadily changing. Lerato is seeing hope as she gets closer each day to her dream of becoming a social worker. In her own words, she has a, “full shot at a bright future.”
At the beginning of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced most of Lerato’s boarding school to be shut down for more than half of the year, resulting in a large number of students failing their examinations in 2021. During this period, Lerato was assisted with a small allowance from BDS to have internet access and push herself through her studies until normal school resumed. At the beginning of 2021, Lerato took her secondary school examinations. We are thrilled to report that when the results came out this month, Lerato has passed all her exams and was among the top 15 in her grade!
We continue to encourage and support Lerato as she goes into high school where she will attend for the next two years. Congratulations to our Lerato!