After being forced into prostitution for three years by her mother, 15-year-old Ritah* is now safe, and has become a role model who shines with confidence.
Ritah said: “Hope for Justice have helped me with counselling, and a place to call home. This has helped me to release the pain that I had inside me, and I started feeling good about myself.
“I also feel confident and strong to face the future. I feel happy. I want to become a fashion designer.”
Ritah, who grew up in a slum area near Uganda’s capital of Kampala, asked our local team to take her in after she participated in one of our life skills courses. She said that her mother had forced her into prostitution, and that she was her family’s sole bread winner.
When Ritah arrived at one of our Lighthouses around two months ago, she was shy, reserved, and showed signs of depression. But she gradually began to rediscover her confidence.
As well as participating in counselling, she took part in catch-up lessons, business skills and rights awareness training, as well as sports, arts and crafts.
She is now helpful to our team, and was recently elected by the other children as their entertainment leader. The children said that Ritah listens to them, loves them, and is calm and polite.
Once she is ready, we will ensure that Ritah moves into family-based care, in a safe home. We will also support her with vocational training, to empower her with skills and knowledge to build a happy and secure future.
*Name and image have been changed to protect survivor’s identity