“These children don't have hands or feet, and I do, God has given me so much, and yet these children have nothing. I am so happy to do this work.”
--Sonia*, a victim of sex-trafficking, commenting on her work with disabled children.
Sonia* was a Muslim girl who was tricked into marrying a Hindu boy. Fearful of the religious implications of marrying into a different faith, she left her husband. She tried to end her life several times, but she survived. A young man soon befriended her. Trusting him, she married him and was soon pregnant. A few months later he took Sonia to Mumbai and sold her. The brothel forced her to have a late-term abortion. A couple of years later she was rescued from the brothel.
Sonia came to Freedom Firm and began working at Ruhamah Designs, Freedom Firm's employment opportunity for rescued girls. Every day she made jewelry and talked about how bad her life had been. Often she would cry and talk about dying and how there was no use living anymore. Even though she had a good job, good food to eat, and a clean place to sleep, she still felt dirty.
Then Sonia began attending the Leg Up horse therapy program on Saturdays, a Freedom Firm project for disabled children and rescued girls. Sonia began as a side walker for the children, holding them up on the horses.
Working alongside the disabled children and seeing their joy in each moment had a profound effect on Sonia. She realized that they had been given far less than she had been given. She began to appreciate everything she had, the ability to walk, talk, laugh, and think. Instead of focusing on the pain of her past and all she had lost, she began to embrace her present. She stopped complaining in the workplace and began to move forward. She began to heal as she reached out in love to others.
*name changed to protect identity