We are Strong - We are Women: One Home - Ten Girls
The statistics in India are devastating when it comes to the amount of children being sold into illegal activities such as drug peddling, organ trade, labor, entertainment, adoption, marriage and sexual exploitation.
This next “Strong Women” photo story, is about ten young women that have gone from being orphaned or abandoned to living together as one big family. Located in the Prakasam District in Ongole, India these girls formed one of the first Covenant Children’s Home (CCH) in 2009. An India based organization that works directly with India Christian Ministries to help abandoned children have a solid foundation emotionally, physically and spiritually.
When we arrived to the girls home in Prakasam, they were all standing in the front door with the biggest smiles on their faces and were wearing the most beautiful outfits! When we got closer the girls filled our hands with flowers before welcoming us inside their home.
They all sat in a row in the living room and then stood one by one and told me their name and how old they were. When I shared my own age they all laughed...I decided to take that as a hint I must be looking older!
After they introduced themselves they showed us their bedroom which was filled with bunkbeds and illustrated posters on the walls. It had a resemblance of summer camp and so did all the laughter.
I couldn't stop photographing their beautiful smiling faces as the evening sun was shining in the window and I started thinking about my own childhood memories of bunkbeds and sleepovers. Although I could never understand the cultural differences or incredible hardships of these darling girls, I could see the similar foundation of values that CCH was creating.
A home where they will be given the opportunity to have a family-style living environment, an english speaking education to learn their way out of poverty, and daily worship to grow their relationship with God. Subsequently, empowering these young women to know their self worth and to pursue their dreams - because they are STRONG!
We ended our time at the SN Padu home with the girls jumping rope, hula hooping and playing a tag game in their dresses as the sun was setting. It was already obvious there was joy radiating from the girls, but now they were a family.