When Geneva’s father left them, he took the family’s only source of income with him. 

The Zimbabwean family of six quickly found themselves struggling to attain even the most basic necessities. Without any clear options ahead, Geneva and her little sister began to sell their bodies for whatever men would offer them. 

Geneva sat down for an interview with us to talk about the struggles she and her sister faced and how life has changed.


The vibrant young woman looked down at her hands as she remembered her daily existence before rescue. “My life was difficult,” she recalled. “No one at home was working.”

“Sunset in a Zimbabwe village” by masondan is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. No changes were made to this image.

In many countries, school isn’t a free service. And when money starts getting tight, school is often the first expense to be removed.

“I was going to school, but my parents didn’t have enough money for me to proceed,” she said.

Having lost access to education, the primary means of gaining legitimate work, the girls were left in a saturated work environment with no prospects for youngsters without a skill set. And because survival was a daily life-or-death challenge, they had to find a way to make a living quickly.

That’s when they were forced to sell themselves to support their family.

“These big, big men—they hire you for maybe (USD)$10 each, and then they go with you… and then you do anything he wants you to,” Geneva recalled, shaking her head. “And then he gives you maybe $10.”

But even that small amount wasn’t a guarantee. 

Because the “clients” were in such a position of power, they could give the child essentially any measly amount they wanted. And negotiation was never an option.

“Those men are abusive,” Geneva said emphatically. “You can’t say anything because you get brutally beaten up.”

She had no power to control her destiny—no power to make any positive shift in her life. Every act of abuse was just a chance to get enough money to feed the family one more day. Geneva remembered the desperation and resignation that came with such a crippling lack of control. 

“When someone said, ‘I have a dollar,’ I would just say ‘yes’ and go with that guy.”

The effect on a young soul, Geneva said, is crushing: “It is not a happy environment to be in. You get squashed.”


All that began to change when Geneva and her sister met our agents. Their rescue team is active in the community and canvasses the area in search of children enduring exploitation. Agents network with key individuals such as village leaders or community health workers so they know they’re there to help if they see exploitation happening in their spheres. 

They also talk directly with groups of children in the community so they know help is available. Once an agent is aware of a situation, she and her fellow agents continue to gather information about the case and connect with the child and her family to establish a safety plan and begin the enrollment process for Destiny Rescue’s program. 

When their team offered freedom, the sisters saw an opportunity to escape—and they took it. What followed were weeks of counseling and healing as the girls began their new lives of freedom.

But the difficulties that forced them into exploitation hadn’t disappeared. The large family still needed money for rent, food, and school fees. So, Geneva’s caseworker talked with her about how we could equip her to make a living.

“Geneva went into beauty therapy training, something she has always wanted to do, and she loved it right from the word ‘go’,” her caseworker said. “(She) turned out to be good at what she does and has gained more confidence and…more customers.”

Geneva preparing her workspace

Geneva preparing her workspace

Now Geneva is an accomplished beautician with clients who specifically ask for her services. 

Her caseworker gushed about her progress: “She is able to take care of herself and her son and the rest of the family.”

Life after rescue can still be hard, but thanks to Geneva’s dedication and our individualized economic empowerment programs, she’s providing for her family with a stable job that she enjoys. 

Learn more about our economic empowerment programs.


If you’d like to be a part of rescuing kids and giving them long-term safe and sustainable solutions, please join us by following the link below.

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Help fund life-changing empowerment.

Your donation can fund education and economic opportunities to help keep her free.

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