In an effort to prevent human-trafficking, providing a skill to women at risk is the best option. Training equips girls with self-confidence and a marketable skill to produce life-generating income. They also learn basic hygiene and to value themselves. One of our skill programs is bakery training in Ukraine!
Anita is one of the inspiration’s behind the bakery in Ukraine. When she was born, her parents did not want her. Thankfully, rather than being aborted, she was placed in an orphanage. Anita went on to tell us this: Leaving boarding school I asked myself: what will be my future? Most of my friends got involved in prostitution or went to jail… I lived in constant fear of being raped. My defense was pretending that I was a buy. I dressed like a boy, walked like a boy and even got a boy’s name. Now that I know God, I thank him that I’m not in prostitution or ended up in jail…
Just this past week, we celebrated the graduation of our bakery students!
Here are some of their stories:
Laura is 24 years old; her mother died when she was a young girl, and her father was never part of her life. She graduated from an orphanage for mentally retarded children with very low grades. In addition, she had problems with otitis and now has difficulty hearing. She loves animals and spends a lot of time caring for them. But, unfortunately, she had no profession, no means to earn money. She says: The lessons at the bakery gave me confidence. I learned so many new things to bake, and I especially like to make croissants and biscuits. I will continue to help in the bakery as much as possible.
Natasha has no parents and was raised in an orphanage. She was born with a cleft palate, and she was not able to speak for a long time. A local Christian couple took her into their home, and they are taking care of her. Now she is learning to speak clearly. She says that God takes care of her. She really enjoyed learning how to bake and work at the bakery. She said that she wants to bake buns for her future family.
Here is a story from Maryana (24), one of our bakery teachers, who was also an inspiration and critical part of the vision for the bakery becoming a reality:
I am so glad that I have been living with my foster family for these past 9 years. Before that, my life was very different. I lived in an orphanage, but dreamed of having a family; a family without an alcoholic father and without constant fighting between parents; a family where there is love and respect. In 2007, God brought me to this friendly family where Maria (our staff) became like a mother to me. She helped me finish school and become a pastry cook. Without this help, I would not have been able to get my degree in education. For 7 years, I worked in a café and dreamed of opening my own bakery. Also, Maria shared her own bakery dream with me, and we prayed for a few years together. Through ServeNow, God answered our prayers and the bakery dream became a reality. It’s our desire that other girls from foster families will also learn how to bake and be able to get a job.
Sometimes I get tired, because it is hard work, but then I see my bakery products and how people from local churches buy them and enjoy them; it inspires me to keep on going. I love teaching our students and plan to continue.
The majority of those who come into our anti-trafficking programs are not Christian, but they all hear of a Savior who loves them and a God who values them! (read more about our anti-trafficking measures here: Anti-Trafficking) Many also come in hopeless, but leave with great hope for a better, meaningful, productive future!
A new group of students will begin at the bakery this coming October. If you would like to help ensure the funding for these girls to be trained click here: Donation