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"I was scared to dream."

Help find and free children trapped in slavery today.

Give today to help find and free children trapped in slavery.

Imagine being only 10 years old - trapped, alone and in danger.

Like most ten-year-old boys, Suriya was a dreamer. If you asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, his answer might change depending on the day. A famous singer, an artist, a policeman, a pilot, a cricket player. When he dreamed about his future, the sky was the limit.

But Suriya didn’t know a storm was coming and that his life was moments away from falling apart. A cyclone was headed for Suriya’s village. Not only did it destroy his home, it also took his father’s life, his family’s livelihood and his freedom.

In the aftermath of the storm, a local farmer capitalised on the vulnerable position of Suriya’s family. As so many traffickers do, he took advantage, offering Suriya’s mother a loan to pay for her husband’s funeral and repair her home. She was given no choice but to accept the loan, and Suriya was forced to work on the farm with no end in sight.


"I was afraid to fall asleep because I was afraid to dream.”

Watch Suriya's journey to safety.
Will you help find and free children like Suriya?

At only 10 years old, Suriya’s dreams, childhood and freedom were taken.

Instead of the loving embrace of his mother, Suriya was beaten repeatedly with a stick. Instead of walking to school in the morning, he was forced to herd over 200 sheep alone for miles. Instead of sleeping next to his siblings, he slept in an open field with nothing but a small towel to protect him from scorpions, snakes and the pouring rain.

“I accepted the fact that this was my reality now... that there was no way out,” Suriya told us.

“I was scared to fall asleep because I was scared to dream.”

Protect families from modern day slavery today

But this was not the end of Suriya’s story. You helped Suriya dream again.

In partnership with a local organisation that works to stop forced labour, IJM helped find Suriya, bring him to safety and fight for justice against the man who exploited his family.

Today, Suriya is safe and no longer scared to dream. But millions of children are trapped in slavery, still waiting for freedom.

Help make freedom a reality for children trapped in slavery

The real Suriya - safe and free

Suriya is safe, home and reunited with his family. He's just as curious about the world, and spends his free time playing cricket and kabbadi.

He is singing again, back in education and dreams of becoming a pilot or a policeman.

Give today to bring children like Suriya to safety and build a future where every child is safe and free to dream
You Can Help 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 and violence in our lifetime.

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

Your generous monthly support will help send rescue to vulnerable children and families at a moment’s notice, stand with them as they rebuild their lives in freedom and have perpetrators held accountable.


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