When she was eight years old, Fon’s parents separated. She and her four-year-old brother went to live with her mother and stepfather in a one-room house. Although her stepfather worked seven days a week, his salary was less than $10 a day, and that was stretched to provide for seven people. This made it extremely difficult for Fon’s family to survive. Fon felt hopeless about her future and she worried about her family. The pressure she felt to help weighed on her, as financial stress caused her brother and stepfather to argue constantly.
Overwhelmed by her family’s situation, she ran away to live with friends. However, her relief was short-lived when it came time to pay rent. Seeing her desperate situation, Fon’s male friend who owned the apartment persuaded her to begin selling herself for sex on Facebook. As a 14-year-old girl she had no idea how this decision would impact her future. She only knew she had to pay her rent. Within hours this young teen’s childhood was over, and she began a lifestyle she felt was irreversible.
“I had many customers in the country that took up almost all my time. Every day I worked and still had only enough money to pay for food. I didn’t know what to do. I kept thinking that all of my mistakes were too late to fix...”
After years of being in this detrimental lifestyle and making barely enough money to live, Fon came to live at Rapha International. She was surrounded by staff who loved her and constantly spoke of her bright future. For the first time she could see past the life of sexual exploitation and prostitution. For the first time she could focus on thriving and not just surviving. In our education program she learned various skills and had the opportunity to further her incredible talent as an artist. When she gave her artwork to a staff member, they told her how beautiful it was, and she burst into tears. It was the first time someone had affirmed her and told her how proud they were of her. She now plans on studying in college and helping other girls see their potential outside of exploitation.
This is not just Fon’s fight for freedom. Fight with her and become an Aftercare Partner today.
One girl. One partner. Our fight.