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Childhood at Risk

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Childhood at Risk

Childhood should not include your mother’s suicide, being cruelly tormented about your squint eye condition and forced into slave labour. But that is the experience of Asha,* a girl in India. Throughout her home area, Siloam Christian Ministries partnering with Childcare Worldwide have been able to rescue her and other vulnerable children.

Asha’s mother committed suicide when she was four years old and her father’s second wife has been abusive toward her. Because her father wanted to avoid the negative remarks about her eye, he sent her to work as a house maid. This continued for two years. Then she was interviewed by people from the project near her home.

Today Asha is a happy twelve year old, attending school as she has longed to do. Having suffered taunts because of her eye condition, she also will benefit from Siloam’s long established eye care which began in India. Their extensive work includes a dedicated team of Indian doctors. When Asha was examined, she was selected for surgery which will require a specialist who can operate on her in September.

Yet Asha’s young life still may be subject to vulnerability. Her father only agreed that she could leave her forced labour after lengthy talks and arranged sponsorship. Now his alcoholic condition has led to his hospital admission. In the event of his death, his second wife may be able to demand that Asha live with her, being subjected to the cruel treatment of forced labour as a slave.

Commenting on the outlook for Asha, Siloam Executive Director David Sutharsanam in India said, ‘Her future really is at stake because we don’t know how long they will allow her to go to school. We are trying to bring her into one of our children’s homes. Please pray that we may be able to save this child from her terrible situation.’

Sponsorship programmes help rescue children at risk like Asha from their desperate plight. In Siloam’s homes, these children can live in a loving and secure environment.

For information, please contact Siloam Christian Ministries at www.siloam.org.uk or Tel. 01926 335037.

Name changed for protection

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