By Lawrence Ssebulime, Social Worker at Hope for Justice Mary Lighthouse, Uganda
A group of girls are joyfully celebrating their achievements and looking to a positive and empowered future, upon completing a three-month life skills course.
The 23 girls, who call themselves The Super Heroes, are all either survivors of trafficking for labour or sexual exploitation, or were at risk of being trafficked.
They were rescued from different parts of Uganda, before being taken in by our team at Hope for Justice’s Mary Lighthouse in Uganda. We cared for the girls and supported them to recover from their experiences.
While at the Lighthouse, the girls took part in the three-month life skills training programme, which empowered them to be independent, self-aware and care for themselves in future.
In their first class, they told us that they wanted to be called the Super Heroes. They said that since being at the Lighthouse, they felt loved, and that they would emerge victorious from their experiences, becoming champions of hope.
Throughout the course, the girls learned more about dealing with emotions, relationships, body changes, being assertive and decision-making. They discussed and developed their communication skills, the risks of substance abuse, setting and achieving their own goals, and developing resilience.
During the sessions, the girls shared their experiences and thoughts, and together they built their determination, confidence and positivity to live the lives they choose in the future.
On graduation day the whole team, including the children and all of us staff at the Lighthouse, enjoyed a fun-filled celebration including a procession, dancing and popping balloons, before enjoying a cake.
The girls will remain living at the Lighthouse for now, as Uganda is currently under a national Covid-19 lockdown. When the restrictions are lifted, we will either reunite them with their families and they will return to school, or we will arrange vocational training for them in the community to ultimately help them find permanent jobs.
We are incredibly proud of the Super Heroes, and are confident that the future is truly bright for them.
The Super Heroes with their graduation certificates