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Kibamba, Tanzania
July 2022

This was my second visit to Spring of Hope, the campus that welcomes trafficked girls year-round, offering a safe, secure place to heal and learn with trauma treatment, vocational skills training, and plenty of community joy. 

One can assume that each girl that comes to Spring of Hope has come from a poor village, and often from families that simply find it difficult to support and feed them. One quickly comes to understand that girls are bought and sold under false pretenses often made by a middleman who promises prestige and high wages. The girls are taken to an urban area where they are sold into slavery where they work for no wages, and are physically assaulted and sexually abused. Each girl has her own story. Each story is equally horrifying. 

Once I arrived at the campus of Spring of Hope, the first thing I noticed was the joy in the sounds of the girls’ voices as they sang and danced together. Whether they were in class, watering plants, tending the small farm animals, picking fruits and vegetables from the garden, eating a meal together, or simply enjoying each other’s company, there is joy. 

Every morning when I headed to the Sisters’ house for breakfast, there was a young girl with her companion waiting to greet me. Each day, she would say, “Good morning. I love you.” 

It takes such bravery to express love when you have been violated. And yet, here I was a foreigner, an interloper and the recipient of one young girl’s unfailing expression of love.

The DMI sisters and lay staff create a community of compassion and care where genuine love is possible, where girls can gain self-confidence and overcome incredibly difficult obstacles. How lucky I was to be welcomed into that circle of love and feel the love that permeates the campus at Spring of Hope. 

Kate Ogonek
New York, NY

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