Like the contrast between dark and light, life in Myanmar for little girls looks starkly different than for boys:
Girls are at high risk of being taken or sold as child brides to neighboring China.
Some families boast about how much they receive for the sale of their daughters.
Too often in the places where we work, cultural practices oppress, abuse and devalue girls. A little girl created by God to be brimming with potential is treated as though she does not deserve to eat as well as her brothers and isn’t allowed to go to school. When someone offers money for her, she may be given into the hands of strangers. How can she begin to think that she can have a better life? How can she raise her daughters differently? By learning the truth. Healing and restoration spring into life in the fertile soil of truth — truth about God-given dignity and inalienable rights.
There are 24 million more men than women in China, making the girls of Myanmar vulnerable to trafficking to fill the demand for brides. Chesa*, a mother in Myanmar, knows the risks little girls face in her country. I have dreams for my children, for them to have a better life. I desire for my two daughters and son to finish school.”
When Chesa joined a Transformation Group (TG), she began to see what new life looks like. In these groups and in business training programs, women learn to leverage their resources as well as start and maintain businesses to keep their children fed, in school and less vulnerable. Chesa and her TG sisters have also been introduced to stories about Jesus. Some have received the gift of new life for themselves.
Chesa said, “I’ve learned about human trafficking in my Transformation Group and shared all I learned with my daughters because I want to keep them safe. I have started a small business making button embellishments to sell to shops for traditional Myanmar clothing. I am very hopeful for the future.”