HONDURAS – Orphaned, homeless and abused by her brothers, Yvette* (name changed to protect identity) feared she would be sold as a modern day slave. So she ran away, surviving by rummaging through the dump for food and sleeping in a box.
Eventually she found help through a government institution that houses and protects girls ages 12-18. “I told them my case and I said my father was killed, my mother does not love me and I said to them I want a better life,” Yvette said.
More than 100 girls like Yvette are housed here—most placed here by the Honduran court system for protection (similar to our foster care system in the U.S.). But there are very few activities for the girls and upon leaving or aging out, many lack the education or work experience they need to secure employment.
But with your help, Operation Blessing was able to establish a cosmetology school within the institution—providing Yvette and other girls with the opportunity to learn a trade. At the school they are learning skills such as washing, cutting, drying, dying, and styling hair; manicures, pedicures, and nail designs; facials, applying make-up, waxing, and more.
Operation Blessing renovated a room at the institution by putting in flooring, electricity, salon equipment such as hair washing stations, hair cutting stations, and nail stations, along with outfitting it with professional hair styling tools. The cosmetology school has become a refuge for the girls like Yvette.
“I feel so great and I say to myself, I will keep on learning,” said Yvette.
The possibilities are now endless—these girls who were once rejected and forgotten now have a purpose and hope for a future.