“God, I thank you for delivering us from slavery and hazardous work in the fishing industry. Thank you for the people whose hearts you’d touched and used to rescue us. Thank you that we now have a life and a future filled with hope.”

When Esther* was 6 years old, she was promised a better life filled with opportunities her parents could never afford. A family offered to pay for her schooling and invited her to stay with them free of charge for only a few afternoon hours of work in their shop.

But they lied. Instead, they trafficked her to Lake Volta, forcing her to fish on the lake until they trafficked boys to replace her. Then her responsibilities shifted to carrying loads of fish from the lakeside, sorting and smoking them to sell in the market.

When it came to how she was treated, it didn’t matter whether she was a girl or a boy. All of the children were physically, verbally, and emotionally abused the same—and without reason.

Her childhood slipped away as the hours on the lake turned into years. But when she was 14 years old, people like you changed everything.

The day IJM investigators and local police arrived, Esther had just finished cooking when her master told her to go and hide in the woods. She returned after several hours to find IJM and police waiting for her.

As Esther looked back at the shoreside while police drove the rescue boat away, she cried when the island where she was trapped began to vanish in the distance. She was finally free.

Without rescue boats that have good safety and communication equipment, her rescue wouldn’t have been possible. By renting these boats for rescue teams, you can ensure our rescue operations run smoothly so more children like Esther are restored to their childhoods.

Today, Esther dreams of becoming a fashion designer and prays to God every day. Something she couldn’t bring herself to do before.

“God, I thank you for delivering us from slavery and hazardous work in the fishing industry. Thank you for the people whose hearts you’d touched and used to rescue us. Thank you that we now have a life and a future filled with hope.”

 

* A pseudonym

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