Sumi's journey from horror to new hope

In February, advocates won a huge victory when the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) passed Congress with broad bipartisan support. The TVPRA allowed the U.S. government to partner with the government of Bangladesh to pass its own anti-trafficking law in 2012.

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    [Video] Melka's story: Child bride to advocate for girls

    We first brought you the story of Melka in Ethiopia last year. Today, we're excited to present this video depiction of the remarkable young woman's journey.

    Melka was 14 years old when, to her surprise, her parents married her off to an older man from another village whom she didn't even know. When Melka resisted him later that evening, he and his friends beat her severely. She woke up in the hospital.

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      Only a child, but already a man

      More than 10,000 Cambodians cross the border into Thailand every day to earn a living. Among the throng of workers and peddlers are children like Horm, who gathers recyclable trash and sells his gleanings at Rong Kluea market.

      He is only 10, but he already works like a man. Between his rounds, he drops by a World Vision learning center to play. It is at this center where he experiences just a few moments of being a child.

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        Saved from early marriage at age 10

        Today's post brings us a story of tragedy turned to hope from Ethiopia, where 10-year-old Masresha was forced into early marriage by her family. In many developing countries, this is a harsh reality faced by young girls, as depicted in the film Girl Rising.

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        “I had no idea of the marriage. I didn’t know who I was to marry. I didn’t expect that my grandmother would do such a thing to me,” Masresha explains.

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          Q&A with an [almost] child bride

          Shapla in Bangladesh was devastated when her parents arranged a marriage that would force her to drop out of school.

          But thanks to World Vision, when Shapla told her friends about her situation, they knew what to do. Shapla's friends had completed a life-skills education course, and they were able to contact community leaders, who advocated for Shapla.

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            When girls pay a terrible price for living in poverty

            The United Nations has declared October 11 as International Day of the Girl. As illustrated by the tragic story of Mao* in Cambodia, extreme poverty often prevents girls from getting an education and leaves them vulnerable to the worst kinds of exploitation.

            World Vision works globally to help change this reality -- and to empower girls and women to reach their full, God-given potential.

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              The glamor of a brothel raid

              Rich Stearns, president of World Vision U.S., shares a story from his recent visit to Cambodia that highlights the numerous interventions required to fight poverty, injustice, and oppression -- those that are dramatic and highly-publicized, as well as those that are less conspicuous but equally critical.

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                Standing side-by-side with northern Uganda

                You may have noticed that there’s been a lot of talk recently about Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). That’s a good thing.

                Kony and the LRA terrorized northern Uganda for 20 years. They continue to terrorize the people of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, and Central African Republic. It’s now time for you to harness your attention and passion: Act to do the most good for the children most hurt by Kony’s campaign of terror.

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                  Is chocolate your guilty pleasure?

                  Abdul is 10 years old.  While many children his age are in school, Abdul spends his days harvesting a bean that is an essential ingredient to a symbol of decadence, love, and happiness in the western world. But to him, it represents pain, toil, and sadness.

                  Abdul is a child slave working on a cocoa farm in Cote D’Ivoire -- where 35 percent of the world’s cocoa originates -- to make the chocolate you and I love.  Abdul has never tasted chocolate. He says he does not even know how cocoa beans are used.

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                    Millions of Melkas

                    More than 60 percent of Ethiopian girls will be married before they are 17. It's a startling fact.

                    But when we see and hear the story of a girl who was forced into marriage when she was just 14 years old, statistics are transformed from mere numbers to a face. To a voice. To reality.

                    Meet Melka, a 20-year-old Ethiopian woman who was married off by her parents at age 14. Now, through a World Vision program, Melka shares her story and teaches young girls about their rights in an effort to prevent the perpetuation of child marriage in her community.

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