Sanyuka Women at Risk: Catherine’s story

8th July 2021

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Her husband’s unexpected death sent Catherine into a spiral of poverty and prostitution, but she was given a new start when she joined a Samaritan’s Purse-funded program that equips women with the jobs, skills, and confidence in Christ to build new futures for themselves and their children.

When you are living in a developing country that offers very few social services, it doesn’t take much to be driven into a life of prostitution.

Catherine knows that all too well.

She was poor but surviving in 2001 when her husband unexpectedly died, leaving Catherine and their three children with no income and no extended family willing to provide support.

“I didn’t have anyone to help me, and I didn’t have money to take care of my children or pay rent, so I started entering into prostitution,” recalls Catherine, now 35.

She was working the streets when someone from the anti-trafficking Sanyuka Women at Risk ministry—funded solely from donations to Samaritan’s Purse Canada—approached her, offering a way out.

“A staff member from Sanyuka met me on the street one night and counseled me. They told me if I left prostitution, they would take care of me and my children.”

Catherine was initially skeptical, fearing that the people offering to save her might really be intending to traffick her. And so she declined. But the Sanyuka people were persistent—approaching her month after month. Finally, a year later, “I decided to accept.”

Catherine says, while fighting back tears, that the first and most valuable thing she learned at Sanyuka was how deeply God loves her.

“I never thought, for my entire life, that someone could help me (leave prostitution). But after the (12-month) program, I was transformed. I didn’t want to go back to the streets again.”

“I started sharing my story with other prostitutes, because I felt I was now okay.”

Today, Catherine earns a living with the hairdressing skills she learned at Sanyuka, and she also has a part-time job with the ministry.

“I am so thankful to no longer be on the streets,” she says with a smile.

Please join us, through your donations and prayers, in transforming lives like Catherine’s through this ministry and through others like it that we also support worldwide.

Read more stories of lives transformed by Sanyuka

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