Abigail has been a student that many supporters are familiar with.
Abigail´s mom was a high-class prostitute. Abigail's mother would often carry baby Abigail around with her when she went out with friends. After her mother died, Abigail was passed around from family to family, moving around to whomever would agree to watch her.
MTM met Abigail a year ago in the middle of last school year. She always wanted her photo taken. She wanted to go to school, but More than Me had already allocated funds for the year and when we looked at our financial situation we knew we couldn't swing it. We put her on the waiting list. We later found out that she joined some girls at a video club, and was sleeping with men for money. She was 11.
Around this time we found a contest. The prize, $1,000. Winning would guarantee money for school for Abigail for four years and get her off the streets. We asked our friends and fans to vote. You did. We enrolled Abigail in school shortly after the contest.
But then, she vanished. No one knew where she went and no one seemed that upset about it. Abigail is an orphan who lived with a guardian. The woman she was staying with, someone she has known for a long time, gave her a dollar to buy laundry soap, Abigail bought food instead; she was hungry. Abigail later recounted that she knew she would be beaten if she returned without the soap. So she ran.
The police found her and brought her "home" this summer. She started selling herself again. She does not have money to buy food or clothes. By using her body as a commodity, Abigail could provide for herself. With girls like Abigail, putting her in school is not enough to empower her. We asked Abigail what she wanted. She answered, someone who cared for her, a decent place to live, clothes, school, and a teddy bear.
More Than Me contacted a local safe home, THINK, for girls who have been sexually exploited. They have very limited space, but because of Abigail’s extreme circumstances they agreed to take her in.
THINK runs a 9 month program, mostly for older girls, which includes accelerated school, vocational training, and the opportunity to live in a safe home environment. Abigail left yesterday, and she was so excited! She wants a new life. We will bring her a teddy bear the last Sunday of this month when she is allowed to have visitors.
Abigail isn't alone. MTM is dedicated to finding the best solution for each child. It isn't always going to be school or a weekly recreation program.
We are at the beginning of the school year and are closely monitoring the progress of all 100 of our girls enrolled in school. Help keep them in school by committing to donate. .96 cents a day = a girl in school for a year with school lunch and all the supplies she needs.
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