Candace’s stepmother made her life miserable.

The 15-year-old was forced to maintain every aspect of the home. She cleaned, cooked and cared for her younger siblings under the brutal direction of her stepmother. For reasons she couldn’t understand, Candace’s stepmother seemed to hate the girl. Despite all her hard work, the stepmother beat Candace and wouldn’t give her anything to eat.

The story sounds like the beginning of a fairy tale, complete with the evil stepmother and overworked daughter. But in this story, there was no Prince Charming.

Out of fear of her stepmother, Candace never told her father about the abuse. Desperate for a way to eat without taking action that might break up her family, she turned to sex work as a means to buy her own food. When her cruel stepmother found out about the exploitation, she helped Candace hide it from her father, prolonging her abuse.

But everything changed when Candace bravely accepted help from Destiny Rescue.

After rescuing her from exploitation, our team worked on eliminating the vulnerabilities that led to her abuse. To escape her domineering stepmother, Candace entered our Residential Care program in Uganda. There, she met other survivors like herself in various stages of their journey toward freedom. 

 

Destiny Rescue's residential home in Uganda

Destiny Rescue’s residential home in Uganda

The experience with Destiny Rescue was life-changing. Candace shared that she matured during her time in our care. She said she discovered her worth in God’s eyes and, as a result, learned what she was truly capable of. Hope bloomed in her heart—a hope that helped her strive to achieve her goals fearlessly.

When asked about challenges they may face in life, most people think of external roadblocks, like poverty, a lack of education, or not knowing the right people, to name a few. Candace has a different perspective.

When we asked her what challenges awaited after her time in our care, she answered that she didn’t really think she faced many. Armed with belief in God, hope for the future and a fiery determination, she felt ready for anything.

Don’t forget: this is coming from Candace, an impoverished Ugandan teenager with a complicated family situation. None of that changed.

What did change was Candace’s heart? Freed from the cruelty of exploitation, she began to realize she was capable of so much more than her abusers or her stepmother ever led her to believe. As a part of her Freedom Plan, she took a course in catering, followed by an internship. Armed with a dauntless spirit and the tools she needed to succeed, it was no surprise when she landed a job working at a local restaurant. 

Candace didn’t stop there. She demonstrated an impressive depth of spirit in choosing to reconcile with her family. She lives in her own apartment now, but speaks with them regularly, saying that her family’s relationship has healed. 

But she doesn’t live alone! Candace has become a rescuer herself by allowing another survivor to live with her rent-free. Not only is the young survivor free of a financial burden that often leads to exploitation, but Candace shines like a beacon of hope in her life. For that girl, Candace is a living demonstration of what rescue makes possible.

Survivors in Destiny Rescue’s care link arms during a game

Survivors in Destiny Rescue’s care link arms during a game

Currently, Candace is saving money to buy land and plans to set up her own small business. After establishing it, she aspires to use her earnings to purchase or build her own home. We are excited about the prospect of reporting her progress in the future!

None of this would have been possible without generous gifts from donors. To empower other girls to walk in freedom, complete the form below. 

 

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Thank you fighting for freedom. You’re now a part of a worldwide team that is helping to rescue and restore the sexually exploited. You’ll receive regular updates on the impact that your generosity is enabling and the lives changed because of you.

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Give her back her childhood.

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We are grateful for your generosity and promise to use your donation in the most effective way possible. All donations designated for specific funds will be applied to those projects and to administering the gifts. At least 80 percent of your designated gift will go to programs that defend kids. Gifts that cannot be used for a particular project, due to over or under-funding, will be directed to Destiny Rescue’s most urgent needs. Contributions are solicited with the understanding that Destiny Rescue has control over the use of all donated funds.