This is what victory looks like

March 13, 2024

With sweaty hands, Carla* rolled her cart down a cobblestone alley of El Alto, Bolivia. With every turn she made, she tried to steady herself and take a few deep breaths.

This wasn’t just any day for Carla. Today was the grand opening of her brand-new business. She was excited but admittedly nervous.

Will people buy my products?

Will I make enough money to feed my children at home?

Wary questions swirled through her mind as she turned from the alleyways to the dusty main street where other vendors lined up for the day.

. . .

Even as she started this new chapter, dark images flashed through her mind—abuse, lies, pain. For years, Carla was a victim of sexual exploitation. She endured unimaginable things day after day. It was all to care for her children, but her trafficker took most of the money she was promised and every day brought her closer to losing hope.

Then, one day, she snapped. She was done.

After persevering through what felt impossible to her, she worked to heal her layers of trauma with therapy and other crucial support, thanks to an Atlas Free Network Member. Now with a microcredit to start her business, Carla was more ready than ever to start this new journey for herself and for her children’s futures. 

. . .

Carla found her place on the street, adjusted a few things on her cart, and faced the crowd of early-morning shoppers. Breathe in, breathe out, she reminded herself as she looked down. 

When she looked up, she couldn’t believe her eyes. A woman was standing in front of her. And looking at her cart. 

After a few minutes, Carla made her first sale. She was in disbelief and smiled to herself, knowing this was just the beginning. 

This is what victory looks like to us.

Carla is free because of this community. The care and tools she received are only possible with your help. Thank you for helping her on her journey toward freedom and economic empowerment.

More women like Carla are waiting for their turn to be set free from sex trafficking. You can help them. Make a difference by giving monthly today. Just $39 a month can help set an average of five women free every 24 hours.