G I V E A U N I F O R M
THE IMPORTANCE OF SCHOOL UNIFORMS
By: April Havlin
Ashelen is 16 years old and told me that what motivated her to begin prostitution was her need of a school uniform. She wanted to study, but her mother was not a responsible person and her father was an alcoholic, so she asked a man, a security guard, if he could give her 5 cordobas (22 cents in U.S. dollars) that way she could ask for money and raise enough to buy a school uniform. This man said to her, “Listen I will not give you 5 cordobas I will buy you a uniform or give you way more money if we have sex together,” so she did. He paid her and she then was able to buy a school uniform. She saw this as an easy way to get what she needed and did the same thing to get her two younger brothers school uniforms as well, searching for men to raise the money and buy the uniforms. When I presented the House of Hope program to her, her first question was, “will you give me a uniform?” because she wanted to keep studying. I said, “yes we will give you uniforms, notebooks, and pencils.” She replied, “I will go because I am tired of old and disgusting men sleeping on top of me just for a uniform.” She came when we were handing out uniforms, and even though it was not her time to get one I fought to get her one.
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Each school uniform costs $30. A donation of $160 will cover the entire cost of a child's scholarship and uniform for a year.
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