E D U C A T I O N P R O G R A M
THE IMPORTANCE OF SCHOOL UNIFORMS
Author: April Havlin
Ashelen was 16 years old when I met her and she admitted to trafficking herself, out of sheer need for a school uniform. In Nicaragua, students are required to wear uniforms to attend school and she had a deep desire to study. Unfortunately, her mother was not a responsible person and her father was an alcoholic. Ashelen told me she first begged a male security guard for a mere 5 cordobas (22 cents in U.S. dollars), in an effort to raise enough money to buy a school uniform. In response the man said,
“Listen I will not give you 5 cordobas. I will, however, buy you a uniform or provide you with more money if you have sex with me.”
...so she did.
She was finally able to purchase a uniform with the money she earned and began seeing this as an easy way to get what she needed for herself and her younger brothers. When she finished her story, I began telling Ashelen about House of Hope and our programs. Her first question was whether or not we would be able to provide her a uniform because she wanted to continue her education. I assured her we would not only provider her a uniform but we would give her notebooks and pencils too! She replied,
“I will go because I am tired of old and disgusting men sleeping on top of me just for a uniform."
Ashelen arrived at House of Hope on a day dedicated to another group but I fought to make good on my promise and was happy to provided her with a uniform, so that she might safely continue her education free of harm.
EDUCATION LEADS TO SUCCESS!
We have been delighted to be able to provide school uniforms and scholarships to hundreds of children from our Tuesday morning program. The girls between 13-19 years of age who attend on Tuesdays receive these blessings. The children of the hundreds of women who attend also receive uniforms and scholarships by the gracious help of donars like you. The students in our residential program receive tuition along with books and school supplies, report cards and diplomas, P.E. uniforms and required school photos. Helping these children stay in school, especially the girls, is a deterrent to keep them out of child brothels.