When floods wiped out two harvests in a row, Mara's family started borrowing money. Her dad was a day laborer, and there was no work without the harvest. He borrowed money to stay afloat. With the pressure mounting, he sent Mara to work in the quarries in order to get some cash.
Almost immediately, Mara knew that she wouldn't see her mom and dad again because of how cruel the men who ran the quarry were to everyone who worked there. She worked from sunrise to sundown breaking and moving stone. She fell ill from the lack of hygiene in the quarry, but still had to work, even when the skin on her hands and feet were in pain from cracking. She slept under a small tent made of scraps of cardboard and plastic, and she shivered every night as she huddled next to the other young girls.
A group of abolitionists spent several weeks watching how this quarry operated before showing up with a police escort at the ideal time. Mara and over 2 dozen other kids were rescued. Most of the kids were able to be reunited with their parents, but Mara came to live at the Children's Home where she eventually started school.
Today, she has regained her health. She is studying in regular school, but someday soon she wants to learn a trade so that she isn't dependent on seasonal harvests like her parents. Her vocational training costs $1600 (donate the full amount here) or $133 a month for 12 months. This training will equip her to take a job at a clothing factory where she can earn a good living. If she follows in the steps of most other graduates, she will support the children's home so that other kids can know freedom.
When you sponsor a scholarship, 100% of your donation goes to provide Mara with life-changing training. You'll get updates from time to time on the progress that she is making.
*Names have been changed to protect children's identities.*