According to UN Women (2019), wherever there is poverty, conflict, and gender inequality, women’s and girls’ lives are at risk for exploitation.
Mpho was exposed to sex trafficking this way. Her family had been attempting to make ends meet through her mother’s income, which she made through domestic work. Her mother fell ill and had to stop working. Her family eventually opened a small shop to keep afloat. However, when the global pandemic hit, they were forced to close their shop, and things became worse.
Mpho thought her luck was changing when a friendly neighbor invited her to take a job in South Africa. Excited, she believed she had scored herself a good opportunity, which would improve both her own life and her family’s situation. But, she later discovered that it was all a lie.
Her recruiter took her to South Africa for sexual exploitation. After some time, she was finally able to secretly communicate with her family to ask for help. Upon her harrowing escape from her perpetrators, she returned to Lesotho and was referred to the Beautiful Dream Society Crisis Care Shelter. Mpho was also expecting a baby from her recent, unfortunate situation. BDS welcomed Mpho with open arms!
During her first day at the shelter, everyone could see that she was struggling mentally; it was as though her life was ending. The only thing she could think of was the traumatic experience she had. She also agonized over remembering how her family could barely afford a meal per day. BDS enrolled her in a psychotherapy program to overcome her trauma and improve her mental health.
After a few sessions, her perspective began to change. She started to tell a different story—a story full of hope and light. She started to look at herself as someone who had encountered a tragic experience but would not be defined by it.
With enthusiasm, she participated in all the shelter programs where she got the opportunity to receive Christ as the Lord and Savior of her life. She also received the support she needed to prepare for motherhood.
Eventually, she was reunited with her family and assisted them with income to re-open their small shop, which now helps pay for their basic needs. Mpho has also given birth to a healthy, beautiful baby and is hopeful about her journey into motherhood. We are thankful for the opportunity we had at BDS to minister to Mpho, and we wish her the best in her new journey!