Women all over the world are facing the dark reality of abandonment, exploitation, and abuse. Samaritan’s Purse works to reach the most vulnerable with the light of the Gospel and help women-at-risk build a better future for themselves.
Women are empowered when they are educated and equipped to overcome the challenges that they face. We meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of women through programs like abuse prevention, safe migration and trafficking awareness, general and maternal health, vocational training, family counseling, and discipleship.
These four strong women are living proof of the difference your support makes:
Yorelene struggled to support her family of seven siblings in the heart of a violent slum.
This infamous slum in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, is one of the world’s most densely populated slums. It is built around a garbage dump that houses more than 500,000 people per square kilometer.
It was difficult for 22-year-old Yorelene and her family to support themselves while living in the dire conditions of the slum, where poverty is an everyday reality.
But Yorelene had hope for a better future, and when she heard about the micro-enterprise training that Samaritan’ Purse’s offers, she was able to take the first steps towards achieving her dreams.
“My dream is to be a successful business woman.”
In the midst of the darkness and desperation, Yorelene has carved out a clean, little corner in which she operates a little shop.
“I learned how to run the business and manage the finances and make a profit,” says Yorelene.
In less than a month, Yorelene’s business is already turning a profit. Her hard work is paying off, and she is now equipped to build a successful future for herself and her family.
Aisha was abused as a child and forced onto the streets, where she was caught in the chains of prostitution.
In Ethiopia, poverty is driving many women like Aisha to large cities, where a lack of education means they often find no source of income other than prostitution.
Aisha’s childhood home became sexually abusive after her father died and her mother remarried. Aisha’s cries for help were dismissed by her mother, who even hit her with a stick.
Forced out of her family and her home, Aisha turned to the streets of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, and to prostitution. She eventually finding herself pregnant at age 14.
It was at this lonely and desperate time that Aisha encountered a Christian women-at-risk program that is financially supported by Samaritan’s Purse.
Through intensive trauma counseling, rehabilitation activities, skills training and sharing the Gospel, the program helps women trapped in prostitution find a safe, honorable way to generate income or develop a small business. When necessary, the ministry also offers day care and funds for schooling while young mothers go through rehabilitation.
The horrible memories and emotions brought up in counseling made it hard for Aisha to commit to the program, and she didn’t feel like she deserved to be forgiven and accepted.
“How could I expect others to accept me?”
But staff involved with the ministry were patient, and Aisha finally recalled the prayers she heard the staff pray to a God who promised new beginnings.
Today, thanks to the love and support from the dedicated team of caregivers, Aisha’s life has been transformed. She has become a Christian and is working as a counselor with the same rehabilitation program in Ethiopia.
“I was one of the first girls the ministry worked with, and I know how difficult I was, but I am so thankful that God kept filling up the team members with His love, because they never gave up on me,” she said.
Tan’s first time giving birth was painful, and when complications arose, she was terrified.
In her remote village in Vietnam, most women give birth at home because it’s tradition. They aren’t aware of the importance of going to a local clinic for check-ups or giving birth at a healthcare facility.
About 1 a.m., 19-year-old Tan began having labor contractions. The pain was nearly unbearable.
“It was my first time giving birth, and I was terrified.”
Tan’s husband knew they needed help and immediately called their neighbor Ha, who had recently completed a traditional birth attendant training with Samaritan’s Purse in northern Vietnam.
Tan wouldn’t have gone to the hospital if not for Ha’s insistence.
The rains were relentless that day. Ha maneuvered up and down muddy hills on her motorbike to reach the young couple’s bamboo home. Fearing something wasn’t right, Ha went with them to a health clinic and then to a hospital more than an hour away.
“The doctor at the hospital took me right away to do a C-section,” Tan explained.
Tan gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Although frightened by the experience of going to a hospital and having surgery, Tan was grateful for Ha’s support and advice.
Ha is just one of dozens of women trained by Samaritan’s Purse to help reduce the number of women and babies who die from preventable causes related to pregnancy, childbirth, and postnatal care. Our traditional birth attendants in Vietnam’s highlands teach mothers-to-be about proper nutrition and how to keep themselves healthy during pregnancy.
Ha came regularly to Tan’s home to teach her how to care for a newborn. “I am thankful for the Samaritan’s Purse program that allowed Ha to study so that she could help me,” Tan said.
Gracilien silently endured abuse in her own home, in a culture where violence against women is normal.
In Haiti, women are generally treated as second-class citizens and incidents of rape and abuse are often ignored.
Gracilien’s marriage to her husband Jeanty was good at first, but after a few years, problems arose.
Because there was so much tension in their home and in their relationship, Gracilien was reluctant to do work around the house or be intimate with her husband.
The fights between Gracilien and Jeanty began to escalate.
“There used to be verbal violence, and there was a time when I hit her.”
Jeanty says that as a Christian and a pastor, he knew this behavior was wrong and needed to change.
“When we saw that Samaritan’s Purse, through the church, was using the Bible as their guide, we welcomed the training.”
Samaritan’s Purse is working with local church partners to educate communities on the value of women, prevent gender-based violence, and provide care and support for victims. By organizing training events and providing resources, we are able to teach pastors and ministry leaders about gender-based violence and how to confront the issue in their community. The project also equips leaders to support victims and help them find counselling, legal, and medical support.
Jeanty and Gracilien have seen such an improvement in their marriage that Jeanty now uses the pulpit in his church to spread the message.
“This program is really good, and it has brought a lot of changes to my family, my church and my community and in everything that I do,” says Jeanty.
“In my church now I preach against gender-based violence, and all the days of my life I would like to keep teaching people against it.”
Jeanty and Gracilien spread the message in their home and community so the next generation won’t follow in the unhealthy and violent beliefs of the past.
“I would like to see my children changed by this, because there is a lot of things that can cause trouble for families,” says Gracilien. “I would like them to have strong communication so that there will be less violence in their families.”
Your gift will help lift women out of darkness and empower them to be the strong, vibrant, and successful women they were created to be.
The hardships women in the developing world face often leave them without hope. Through your generous gifts, Samaritan's Purse is working to restore the hope of women through programs aimed at increasing literacy, providing maternal health care, teaching livelihood skills, and stopping trafficking and prostitution.