J is one of the rescued girls who participated in our pilot sales program at a safe house in Mozambique. Here is her story in her own words:
“As a child I suffered. My mom died and I didn’t have food at home and so I needed help. Those who helped me sent me to work on the street as a prostitute. I was 9 years old.
I had to live in camps and abandoned houses. Sometimes I would run away and find a center that wanted to help. But prostitution was the only life I knew, the only way I knew how to make money, and so I would run away from the center, from those who were trying to help me.
I had heard of Deborah through some friends. I got to know more about her center from some other girls. They gave me food and a place to stay.
Living on the street is very violent. There are fights about money and clothes. I have a friend who lost an eye in a fight. I was in a lot of fights.
One of the men I was with attacked me. He picked up a rock and smashed my leg.
Deborah heard about it and came to visit me in the hospital. She gave me food. She kept visiting me and she helped me to leave the street.
Now I am living with other girls who have graduated from the center. I have dreams to support and build my family.”