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On the ground in India: ‘Daughter for sale’

On the ground in India: ‘Daughter for sale’

Here in the United States, if you saw furniture sitting beside the road, you’d probably assume it was trash or free to anyone willing to come pick it up. In the Banchara community of India, though, furniture sits along the streets for a different reason. A bed beside...
On the ground in India: Nisha’s one of the lucky ones

On the ground in India: Nisha’s one of the lucky ones

Nisha isn’t one of those kids who hates school. In fact, she loves it! Whenever she visits her friends, she’s always offering to help them with their lessons and encouraging them that getting a good education is the key to reaching their dreams. That’s because Nisha...
Love your neighbor: the single mom

Love your neighbor: the single mom

Imagine a single mother moves in next door to you and your family. Her car is rarely there because she’s always at work — a job that completely drains her, but it pays the bills. You watch her son get off the school bus every day with your own kids. You wonder if...
From a streetwalker to a small business owner

From a streetwalker to a small business owner

Palma’s name used to be a number. She was one of tens of thousands of girls working in the bars of Thailand’s red-light district. Palma felt like just another face in the crowd, another dancer up on a stage — for sale to the highest bidder. Palma, whose name we’ve...
Poverty and culture rob girls of dignity

Poverty and culture rob girls of dignity

Som had the deck stacked against her from day one. She was 20 when she got pregnant with her first child and became the caregiver for a sick, elderly relative. “How will I provide for them?” she asked herself, knowing few people would hire an uneducated girl from the...
From a streetwalker to a small business owner

Koy is an orphan from a slum — but don’t count her out yet

On my trip last week to Bangkok, Thailand, I got to meet the newest residents at the Freedom Home there — including a 15-year-old girl I’ll call Koy. Koy’s mother was a sex worker. Her older sister died of AIDS, and her other sister has HIV. But thanks to generous...
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