We love sharing stories of the women who, as part of a skills-training program, sew together PUNJAMMIES®. The Sudara Stories series highlights a few of these strong, amazing women. Today, we are honored to introduce Somma.
Somma’s Story of Hope and Freedom
Somma’s family moved every six months in search of work. Her father, an alcoholic, could not keep a steady job and, when he received a paycheck, he spent most of his money on alcohol rather than rent. Somma remembers the worst months as the times when he could not find work at all. He would anger easily and force her mother to take on a second job within the sex trade, despite her pleas.
When Somma was in the 8th grade, her mother left home and returned to the village where her parents lived. She told Somma that she could no longer bear her father’s anger or another day in the sex trade. Soon after she left, Somma quit school to take care of her younger siblings and the family moved, yet again, in search of work.
A couple of years passed before Somma saw her mother again. She remembers it was one of the hottest days of the year and her father was at work. Her mother told her that they needed to leave before he returned; she had heard that Somma’s father was making plans to force her into the sex trade too.
Somma went with her mother that day to a community center in a nearby village. It was there that they learned about Sudara’s centers and safe-housing options. Somma’s eyes lit up the most, though, when she learned that she could continue her schooling and receive job-training, too. She is currently on track to complete her courses next June and has plans to work in the garment industry after graduation.
Thank you for continuing to invest in and empower women like Somma to create a new life for herself — a life that is free from sex-slavery and full of hope.