Aruna brings and sustains freedom to sexually exploited women through employment marked by holistic care.
Aruna exists because sexual slavery exists. For millions personal choice has been forcibly taken from them and life has become survival.
Aruna brings and sustains freedom to these young women through employment marked by holistic care. Born the youngest daughter to a poor alcoholic, Priya was virtually invisible in her slum home. Upon a ‘recruiter’ coming to her village and speaking of the need for a young woman to work in the city, Priya was finally seen, but for all the wrong reasons. As a fresh and easily managed commodity, Priya was sold for less than $400 to a brothel owner. She was 13. She endured for months. The months turned to years. After about five years of abuse, she conceived.Against all odds she was able to carry the baby to full term while still enduring daily abuse in the brothel system. She gave birth only to see the child die four days later. Violence, abuse and death surrounded her. Within the next year she was forced to abort another pregnancy and learned that she had become HIV positive. Already facing a harsh cultural stigma, being HIV positive pressed her into a depth of darkness and depravity not worth describing. With her body so debilitated by the disease, she could hardly move. With customers no longer willing to pay for the dying girl, she was taken outside the brothel and laid in the gutter to die. Seena, our aftercare specialist found her and carried her to a clinic. Somehow she survived and began to grow in her health. She was brought into an aftercare home marked by love and care. She was offered skill and trade development and took exceptionally well to the tailoring training. She is our first employee. “I never imagined life free from the brothel because I was a slave there. I tried to run away but never succeeded. I thought I have to live there till death.” She smiles big as she talks of freedom, “I want to enjoy my freedom, do things in my way, like get up late on holidays.” She continues, “and to become a master in tailoring.” She is well on her way.
Priya works as one of the team leads in the production of the new elevated Athleisure bags. She is excited to share her and her fellow Artisans work with you. She’s sure you’ll love what you see. Check it out at www.ArunaProject.com/shop and become a part of her freedom story.
Find more information at Aruna Project.
Come visit Aruna at Madison’s Fair Trade Holiday Festival!