A Letter from Esther's Mum
There is absolutely nothing worse than seeing your daughter trapped in despair.
And there is nothing better than watching her come back to life - radiant and full of hope.
My daughter found freedom because of people like you.
I hope that you’ll give me a few minutes of your time. I’m not a fundraiser - I am a parent. And when I tell you my story, you’ll see that you can make a miracle happen.
My daughter, Esther, has always been so precious to us. We did all we could to give her a good life. But our family was very poor and we never had enough food to go around. We owed money for medical bills and the loan shark told us that if we didn’t pay soon, we would go to prison.
When Esther was 14, a woman came to our village and told us about a job in the city at a restaurant. She told us that Esther would be given 3 meals a day and would be able to earn a good income that would give her a brighter future. We didn’t want to send her, but we felt like it was the only option for our family and hoped it would give Esther a better life.
Nothing turned out like we had hoped.
We didn’t hear from Esther for many months and were unable to locate her. Our worst nightmares had happened.
Eventually, we found Esther, but she was a very different girl to the bubbly, light-hearted daughter that we had known just a few years prior. She would just sit and stare into space. She no longer spoke and she wouldn’t let anyone touch her. Months and months went by, and nothing changed. It felt like there was nothing inside her anymore.
We thought that there was nothing that could be done for Esther. But then, Esther came to Bloom Asia.
This is when everything began to change.
At Bloom, Esther has been surrounded by people that understand what she has been through and are equipped to help her heal. Her counsellors have helped her to manage her nightmares and are a constant voice of encouragement, helping to break off the shame from her past.
We were never able to send Esther to school. But at Bloom, she has learnt to read and write. For the first time, she no longer feels inferior to her peers, instead, she feels like an equal.
The hospitality training that Bloom gave her meant that she was able to graduate with a certificate that is recognised all over Cambodia. I cried tears of disbelief and gratitude when I watched her graduate. Nobody in our family has ever done this!
But most importantly, having a good job has changed everything for Esther. This gives us hope that she will never be at-risk of being tricked in the future. It gives her choices and dignity. She is also using some of her wages to help her siblings because she wants to make sure that they can go to school and never experience what she did.
It hasn’t always been easy for Esther. Sometimes she still has flashbacks and these impact her ability to focus on her work. But the staff at Bloom are amazing and understand what is happening for her. She is never yelled at. Instead, they remind her of the breathing exercise that can help her. And most importantly, they show her compassion and love.
The chance to come to Bloom is bringing my daughter back to life. Her bubbly, cheerful self is returning. In fact, I think that she is more confident and full of hope than ever before.
I wanted to share my story with you this Christmas because I will always be grateful for the restoration journey that Esther has been on since coming to Bloom Asia.
My daughter went from darkness into light. From brokenness to wholeness.
I’m hoping that you will join me and help other girls who desperately need a new start and a place to heal. Please make a gift to Bloom Asia today, so that a survivor like Esther can have hope for her future.
As a parent who witnessed a miracle in my daughter’s life, I can tell you that you are making an incredible - and very important - gift.
I will always be grateful that, despite all she has experienced, Esther is filled with hope and has an incredibly bright future ahead.
Please make a donation below or at www.bloomasia.org/givehope. By doing so, you will be giving a girl like Esther the chance of a bright future.
P.s. Thank you for giving generously to survivors like Esther this Christmas. You are giving the miracle of healing and hope to girls like Esther. You can make your gift at www.bloomasia.org/givehope
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All donations over $2 are tax-deductible.
Here’s how your donation can make a difference:
$48 - provide her with 2 months of counselling
$115 can buy everything a girl needs to start her new job, including a uniform and course supplies.
$290 can start a new girl on her journey to freedom (including medical care, counselling, education, qualifications and living-wage employment).
$530 can empower a survivor with a whole year of counselling sessions and literacy classes.
$1,260 can fund vocational training for 2 newly rescued girls. This gives them the skills and qualifications they need to build a new life.
$3,480 can completely support a survivor for a year.
*Bloom Asia aims to give the highest level of care and protection for every beneficiary and their family. To protect their identity, names and details have been changed and photos do not necessarily depict the individuals mentioned in this email.
**The Mother in this story expressed her desire to encourage others to support Bloom Asia in order for more girls like her daughter to receive help. She shared her story with us and we then helped her to write and translate her letter.
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