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Stories of Hope

At a time when the news can seem overwhelming, and things feel uncertain, all of us at IJM would like to share with you something that we have a lot of — hope.

Our survivors have always shown us that in the midst of darkness there is still light. We know that sharing their stories won’t stop a pandemic, but it may give us a little extra motivation to fight for hope and joy even in the most difficult seasons. We hope you’ll find encouragement in a few of our most joyful moments!

This is Bablu

Before he was born, his mum, dad and sister went to work at a wood-cutting facility to try to pay off a debt with their daily wages. But what they thought was a good job quickly turned into a life of abuse. A cruel man, they called The Beast, gained complete control over every aspect of their lives.

Their conditions were horrific, and the abuse they suffered was overwhelming. It became clear that their future would be once of slavery if they didn’t find a way out.

Only a few days before Bablu was born, IJM went to investigate the facility alongside local authorities. Despite threats, Bablu’s mum harnessed all of her courage and spoke boldly, telling the authorities everything about the abuse and torment they had experienced. Because of her courage and the partnership of people like you, IJM intervened in his family's life and got to witness not only their rescue but Bablu being born into freedom!

Enjoy this brief glimpse into a life changed: a sweet little clip of baby Bablu figuring out if he likes cake, his adorable sister singing “Happy Birthday " to him, and an entire family celebrating love, freedom and joy.

Bablu's Birthday

Finally Headed Home

Let us take you to Chennai, in India.

This clip shows what happened in the aftermath of an IJM rescue of 44 boys and 32 young men, all of whom had been trafficked from their homes about 1,000 miles away. These men and boys were forced to labour in factories, day and night, making hundreds of pieces of gold jewelry — often handling terrible chemicals and breathing metal dust without protection. It was, in short, horrific.

Yet here’s the hope. When IJM and local officials brought the boys to a safe location (and arrested the suspects who abused them), they were overwhelmed with joy. When we told them they’d get to go home, here’s how they responded.

The person being hugged is one of our IJM staff members, and if you’re like us, we can’t stop replaying this moment. It personifies hope, joy and the beauty of what’s possible when people keep showing up and caring for those in need of rescue.

See Their Reaction

Survivors Paving The Way For A Better Future

Let us introduce you to our next hero, Thaiyamma. You can read her story of how she took a courageous shot at freedom, so her baby Bablu could be born free.

Here's the hope: once hidden from the world while they were in bonded labour slavery - today Thaiyamma and many other survivor leaders are paving the way for a better future for them and their communities. Thaiyamma and Pacchiayammal (pictured) are two of the former bonded labourers now advocating for the rights of survivors. Over the last two weeks, these women have been on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19, helping raise awareness of the virus to hundreds of survivors. You can read more about how survivors have been helping others through the global pandemic here.

Survivors Lead Covid-19 Efforts

The moment Jakelin's son could hug his Mum again

When Jakelin was a child, her father perpetrated horrific violence on the entire family— Jakelin’s childhood was essentially demolished by this man.

IJM learned of Jakelin’s family, provided a skilled lawyer and ultimately saw Jakelin bravely testify against her father. Jakelin's father received an 8 year prison sentence because of her and her family's bravery.

Now, because of her strength and IJM’s intervention, Jakelin is safe and dreaming of the future.

Of course, Jakelin's son didn’t know all that. He just wanted to get a hug from his mum, and be adored by the film crew while we made this documentary. And Jakelin, being such a caring mum, didn’t hesitate to let him have his moment in the spotlight.

You Can Send Rescue Today.

When you give a gift today, you’ll be fighting slavery, violence, and injustice across the globe. Together, we can end slavery in our lifetime.

You can make the most impact as a Freedom Partner today.

Your generous monthly support will send rescue to vulnerable children and families at a moment’s notice, stand with them as they rebuild their lives in freedom and see their abusers in court.

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