In every crisis, there is a new outcry. In Myanmar, following the complete economic and societal collapse, as a final act of complete desperation mothers are turning to sell their daughter's virginity to traffickers.
These pieces tell the story of the young women, whose innocence was sold for the sake of their family. Through the two Eden Drop-in Centres, ‘The Well Center’ and ‘The Life Center’, our counselors hear for the first time as these teenagers share the trauma and betrayal of being sold by their mothers.
The childhood of these young women is often very tragic. Many worked in rubbish dumps, market selling, and other often hazardous jobs, with most never finishing school. Because the weight of the family's finances is shared with the children, when circumstances worsen and they have no more food, there is an expectation that the children are also responsible to repay the family's debt.
The cycle of debt bondage has trapped thousands of families in Myanmar’s poverty-stricken areas. Due to debt bondage, the environment of the family is like a desert; they have no access to resources or support, and there is only the heat of mounting debt due to the multiplication of interest rates from loan sharks. In order to repay this debt, out of desperation, parents will choose to sell their young daughters to traffickers to avoid gangster violence, community shame, and starvation.
However, these young girls are like emerging desert flowers as they endure and overcome harsh desert conditions. For our teams, the rescue and transformation of these young girls can be very challenging, but we are reminded that just as flowers can spring forth from dry deserts through the basic elements of sand, earth, water, and stone, so can freedom spring forth through the basic elements of love, hope, faith, and courage.
Through the love and care of Eden’s trauma counselors, art therapists, and teachers, we are able to partner with them and bring the water of a healing environment to cause them to grow a resilient future.