Field Report from Addis: Teen Sex Trade Workers

Our honorary director Tam and her family visited the ten girls in the Teenage Sex Trade Worker Retraining Project in Addis last week. Here’s her awesome field report:


“Right before we left for Ethiopia, I was invited to participate in the 10 for 10 campaign being held by Vulnerable Children’s Society. Ten women were challenged to raise $1300 each so that 10 more young women could be admitted into a former sex worker retraining program that Vulnerable Children Society supports in Addis Ababa.

These young women in Addis Ababa are as young as 14 years old and receive incredible support in this program which we got to see firsthand on the second day we were in Ethiopia. The director Yonas, told us that the young women receive counselling, skills training, medical care, education, food and group accomodation while they are in the one year program and that it’s had a 95% success rate to date. The former sex worker retraining program is just one of many that they have run successfully for years and it was obvious that he has a passion for helping wherever possible.

We were able to meet the young women in the program who were just about to start their daily counselling session with a pair of Dutch counselling students and an Ethiopian counterpart. Some of the other girls were in a hairdressing class (big business in Ethiopia) and were shyly showing off their flat ironing skills.

It was obvious that these girls had be through so much. Their eyes spoke volumes of the things that no one should have to endure and the courage they have to try and change their lives. It was an hounor to be able to meet these girls and see the program first hand.”

You can donate to Tam’s campaign to support one (or more!!) teen girls to attend the program next year:

10 women fundraise for 10 girls

This summer, 10 women from across the country are fundraising to support 10 girls to attend our Teenage Sex Trade Worker Reemployment Program in Addis Ethiopia.

The women are students, government workers, homeschooling moms, retirees, business women… aged 15 to 65! They all want to give a teen Ethiopian girl another chance at freedom and self reliance.

Each woman is raising $1300, the year-long program cost for one girl!

So far, we have raised $3870 as a team… That’s enough for three girls to attend the program. Will you help us 10 women support 10 girls?

In the next four days, please consider donating to Dacia’s campaign!

New Project! Re-training for Teenage Sex Trade Workers

Vulnerable Children Society is thrilled to announce our newest project, which will help some of the most vulnerable girls in Ethiopia: The Teenage Sex Trade Worker Re-Training Program in Addis Ababa.

Vulnerable Children Society is financing a holistic program run by Hope for Children in Ethiopia, an indigenous Ethiopian NGO, to support and reemploy teenage girls. These girls were victimized by the sex trade, and worked in deplorable conditions, often in an indentured situation. The teenage girls, on average fifteen years old, have experienced a life no child should.

This practical, caring program enables extremely vulnerable teenage girls to stand on their own feet, and be self-sufficient outside of the sex trade.

Starting November 1st, Vulnerable Children Society is supporting ten young women for a year-long program. In Hope for Children’s care, they are receiving rent and food, counseling, and vocational training. The training program is for ten girls that stay together as a cohort, so the girls can bond and learn to trust each other. They learn three trades: sewing, cooking and hair styling. These are highly employable, entry level jobs in Ethiopia. Their training also includes life skills development, health and sanitation, and adult basic literacy. Some of the girls are also recipients of small business loans and training, so that they can be self-employed.

One of the best parts about the program is that Hope for Children tries to reconnect the girls with their families, where possible and beneficial. Between family reunification and reemployment in a different industry, this program has a fantastic 95% success rate.

Vulnerable Children Society directors Tawnya and Arnica visited with girls and boys in Hope for Children in Ethiopia’s programs in May 2013. (You can read more on the visit here.) the girls featured in the photo are actually from a very similar program for formerly indentured wood carriers. This project is a trial to see how a relationship with Hope for Children works, and was financed through existing project funds.

If you would like to support projects like this, and enable another cohort of girls to go though the program, please consider making a one-time donation to Vulnerable Children Society’s project fund.