Credit Taylor Aubin
There are gifts you remember. This year, Ana will remember hers. And she’ll remember us. Because to Ana, ITEMP is the closest thing to Santa Claus she has ever experienced. Better than she dreamed of, she says.
And if there is one thing—probably the only thing—that Ana has never lacked, it’s dreams. When you listen to this young woman, you cannot help being fascinated by her willingness to fight and determination to live a meaningful life.
But life has not been so tender to Ana. She was born the product of rape, into a family where her mother’s husband vowed never to love her. To earn his approval,Ana dressed and acted like a boy. And worked liked one, too. Ana fell victim to labor exploitation and was soon told to go work near Guatemala’s border with El Salvador. But, thankfully, Ana refused. She knew that the “work” was in a brothel, and refused to let her life end in such a painful way. So she ran away.
When Ana first came to us, her aged face told a million stories of pain, anger, distrust,and even violence. But Ana is an artist and a poet, too, so music and acting soothes her to some extent. There is much more work to be done with Ana, though.
When she entered our program, Ana was given a bed, a new school uniform, a living allowance, medical and psychological care and, most importantly, an education. Unlike most girls her age, Ana’s Christmas wish wasn’t for new clothes or more makeup. Her dream was simple and yet so powerful: Just let me keep going to school, she said. And, for the first time in Ana’s life, she will go to school for the second year in a row. And this is priceless for her. But not for us. Not for you. With a donation of only $25, you can support Ana’s school tuition for a month.
What’s your wish for Christmas this year? A new DVD? Or a better world for us all? Make Ana’s simple wish come true this holiday season with your generous donation.