At the beginning of 2014, I told my parents that I no longer wanted to work making bricks, that since I was their only daughter, they must think about my future. They agreed. Then, in June of that year, my mother noticed breast pain and on the way to the hospital she and my father had an accident on their motorcycle. My father was injured so badly he was not able to work and the test my mother received showed that she had a tumor and needed surgery. For a while, we didn’t take her condition seriously, though she was on medication. And my father could not work the same as he did before. We wanted to be free so we worked so hard.
My mother’s condition worsened, she was in so much pain and getting worse by the day. The doctors said she had breast cancer and needed surgery but working as slaves, we could not afford the treatment. In 2017 my father borrowed money from the brickyard owner for my mother's surgery, and we prayed every day for her healing. Her surgery was a success! Eventually my mother was able to start work again and my father could help bring us clay.
In May 2020, Brother Suleman with All People Free came to visit us and we told him about our circumstances. He made a way for us to leave the brickyard and live in Anna’s house. Now I have started studying again at Anna’s House and I’m learning to sew. Soon we will begin learning to sew Bible covers, ladies purses, and clutches. We feel that God has seen our pain and heard our prayers for freedom.
Giving the Gift of Liberation from Bonded Labor
In our work, we encounter many young women like Salmoni, who are facing the worst of the hardships that bonded laborers are subjected to. Many of them are under threat of being trafficked, sold for organ harvesting, being beaten, and being starved. The physical and emotional toll is overwhelming. This is why we have launched Anna’s House, a safe home of restoration for these women and their families.
Anna’s House Provides Relief from Bonded Labor
Our first home is called "Anna's House." Anna means “Grace” - empowerment to change; to move forward. Our goal is to help women at risk find grace and empowerment through emotional and physical support, as well as trade skill training to help them move into the future with everything they need to thrive.
The goal of Anna's House is restoration for the whole family unit. During their stay at Anna’s House, we provide families with shelter, food, clothing, and training so they can become self-supporting. After their stay with us, we help relocate them to their own homes and establish them in a job. We continue to support these families with regular check-ins from our staff after they leave Anna’s House.
How to Give the Gift of Liberation:
Over 80% of children working in the brickyards are uneducated and illiterate, ensuring that they never move beyond slavery in the system of bonded labor we are working to abolish. Without an education, their options for a sustainable life outside of the brickyards are limited. For kids growing up in the brickyards, education is their biggest hope, opening up a world of opportunities they would not otherwise realize.
Primary Schools Create Opportunities to End Modern Day Slavery
We are actively opening new schools as frequently as possible within the brickyards to provide access to education for as many children as possible. Our schools offer a K-5th grade public school education that focuses on reading and writing. With each school open we have new opportunities to reach more families, educate more kids, and employ new teachers. These are significant strides towards ending modern day slavery.
Trade Schools for Girls
Young women in the brickyards are particularly vulnerable to abuse, violence, persecution, and trafficking. With that in mind, we have begun opening all-girls trade schools to provide a safe, practical educational opportunity for young women to find a path out of the brickyards.
Your gift of education will actually change lives, ensuring the next generation has the freedom to choose their future.
How to Give the Gift of Education:
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” Desmond Tutu
Christmas is a season that signifies hope. Hope for peace and new life, hope for change and freedom, hope for all people to be noticed, remembered, and acknowledged. Christmas is about hope for people, and that’s exactly what we’re about at All People Free.
Hope is a promise. It’s a promise that there is more to come that we don’t yet see. A promise that there is more to be had, more to be seen, more to be lived. It’s a promise that the story isn’t over. For our friends in the brickyards, we whole-heartedly believe that their story isn’t over. There is hope. There is promise.
We’re going into this holiday season with intentional awareness of the hardships so many have faced. In the brickyards, this year has been especially hard as families have had to struggle to get food, medical care, and have had to close schools. That’s why we’re going into this season a little differently. We’re asking how we can help and how we can use this holiday as not just a gift giving season, but a season of giving hope to those who are struggling the most.
After a year like this one, don’t we all need a little extra dose of hope?
Here at All People Free, we want this holiday to mean more than usual for families in the brickyards. We want to help give the gifts that truly make a difference in their lives. Education, liberation, and innovation are the gifts that matter, the gifts that empower people enslaved in the brick making factories to create a better future for themselves, a free future. This is why we’re doing everything we can this holiday season to give what we can. We would be so honored if you would join us.
Learn more here: give.allpeoplefree.com
Hope is on the horizon!