Even before COVID-19 came to India, Jayna* was already vulnerable. She could have been one of the 21 million underage girls who are forced to marry each year. Child marriage is a form of human trafficking. Over the next five years, as the economic consequences of the pandemic take their toll, that growing number is expected to escalate.
Jayna is 16. Shy and soft-spoken, Jayna struggled to find her voice and her place in the world. She and her family, followers of Jesus, find it challenging to thrive in an area heavily dominated by those hostile to Christianity.
When Jayna’s father lost his job due to the lockdown, the family struggled to survive every day. Now Jayna was forced to help supply income for her family. Jayna found a job in a plastics company. At the same time, she joined a local group just for teen girls – a She Is Safe Junior Transformation Group. She learned new skills, how to save money, and how to be a leader. Now she uses her strong, confident voice to lead other girls to find their voices and freedom in Christ, too.
Jayna is safe – vulnerable no more to the insidious maneuvers of traffickers. She is no longer susceptible to being forced into child marriage. She is free to finish her education and development. Jayna is equipped with skills to have a strong future and build on her faith foundation.