Finding their own dreams
Su Su, 18, was left behind by her parents since she was three years old. Su Su then lived with her grandmother and she had hoped to continue her studies through Grade 9.
But Su Su’s mother was addicted to alcohol and gambling, and was violent. Due to this addiction, the family’s situation got worse.
To help her mother pay off her debts and support her four younger sisters and brothers, Su Su forced herself to quit school in Grade 8 and became a child housekeeper, waitress, beer girl and Karaoke girl.
She said: “When I was a scavenger on the streets and in the markets, there were many beauty salons. I remembered, one day, before I was 10 years old, that I stood in front of the beauty salon, looked at the people getting their hair done and wished I could become beautiful like them. I wished that one day I could make myself beautiful.”
But the income she got living on the streets was not enough to help her mother living in debt. Su Su forced herself to become a prostitute in a Karaoke bar because it paid more money.
“After being a beer girl, I worked as a karaoke girl. I was able to earn US$300 to 400. My salary was only US$110 per month but when I slept with guests, I got some extra money.”
However, one day, police raided the Karaoke bar. She then ended up under World Vision’s care, in a recovery centre.
At first, Su Su refused to stay because she thought that it was her duty to earn money to help the family. The only thing Su Su could think about was finding a job. But with the love and care she received from World Vision’s staff, Su Su began to enjoy living in the centre.
“I love everything in this World Vision centre. They take care of me every day and I feel such warmth from the staff. Now I feel confident, unlike before, when I felt embarrassed and did not want to talk to other people.”
Su Su learnt a skill–hairdressing. Now, she dreams of becoming a hair salon shop owner. Su Su means endurance, her name reflects her real life.
“I have plans for my life. First, I will save money. My plan is to have a hairdressing salon. I want to help my family members. I will teach my older sisters to have a permanent job. And, if possible, I want to help other trafficking survivors who really want to learn this skill, so that they can earn money from this.”