Keep child sex trade survivors off streets during COVID-19

Keep child sex trade survivors off streets during COVID-19

From Kenna Haley

Girls and young women who once thought they were free of being forced into the sex trade are pressured to sell themselves again during the economic crisis brought on by COVID-19.

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Rita (name changed) is a 20-year-old mother and survivor of child sex trafficking. Seven years ago, when she entered the program and safe house, she had no hopes or dreams for her life.

Now Rita has dreams: She not only wants to ensure that her child has a safe and dignified life, but now she is an avid champion of anti-child trafficking in Costa Rica. She has even met with the Vice President to share her insights.

But the COVID-19 economic crisis has thrown a wrench in her wheel of dreams. She has lost her job, and in an effort to keep herself and her child from ending up back on the streets, she has started selling nude photos of herself for some income. Still, that money is not enough. She has recently shared with us that she might have to go back to sex work to make ends meet.

This is a similar story of most of the girls whom we have been supporting since they completed our program and were successfully rehabilitated back in their communities. As a part of our post-program support, we give these girls counseling/mentoring and also a small stipend to supplement their income until they are emotionally and financially stable.

But their loss of livelihood during this crisis has caused a serious problem.

Hence we are raising funds to help them cope during these difficult times.

About us:

We are a not-for-profit registered in the name of Saving Hearts Together in the USA. We run an 18 to 24 month residential program in Costa Rica for children removed from sex trafficking. Our goal is that they discover their strengths, believe in themselves again and begin to thrive.

We achieve our goals by introducing the girls to various kinds of therapy along with teaching them life skills and vocational training. And, most important of all, they receive unconditional love and care, so that they can heal.

FAQ's

Q: How much does it cost to support a girl for a month?

A:  It costs $500 per girl per month

Q: Is the program run only in Costa Rica or do you also run it in the USA?

A:  We are only in Costa Rica as it has one of the highest child sex traffic rates in the world and 80% of the sex tourists go to Costa Rica from the USA and Europe.

Q: Which type of payments are accepted?

A: We only accept credit and debit cards

Q: Can I subscribe for a monthly commitment for auto donation every month instead of paying all at once?

A: Yes, you can. Once you click the donate button you get an option of selecting recurring donation.

Q: How else can I support Saving Hearts Together apart from the donation?

A: There are many ways in which you can support us. Please reach out to us via email toshashi@savingheartstogether.org

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