Saturday, 29 August 2015

A story that will show you the character.

Yesterday 40,000 people donated over $1,000,000 in fewer than 12 hours to help Fatima end bonded labor. The fundraiser currently sits at almost $1,400,000. There were no perks offered. No ‘reward levels.’ This was motivated by nothing more than genuine compassion and a desire to empower a woman who’s devoted her life to freeing people trapped in modern slavery. Thank you so much. Fatima has prepared a statement that I will post shortly.

I want to conclude this series with a story that will show you the character of the person you’ve just empowered. This is one of thousands of anecdotes that reveal a person who is more committed to humanity than to her own safety or comfort:

Recently a family trapped in bonded labor got in touch with Fatima. They told her that they could not escape their owners, and that the girls in the family were being sexually abused by the owners. Fatima immediately jumped in her car and drove to the kiln in the middle of the night. She told the family to run. The owners woke up and began to fire guns. The family reached the car, but the youngest girl—only four years old--- had fallen down and been captured.

For three months the child was missing. Fatima went to court and begged for intervention, but the police kept insisting that they’d searched the kiln, and no child could be found. “I couldn’t sleep,” explains Fatima. “Every night I laid in bed and could think about nothing but this young girl in the hands of her brutalizers. I stayed awake all night thinking about how I could rescue her.”

Fatima recruited several other laborers to help her. Dressed in rags, they went to the kiln and pretended to be workers. They spent several days searching. They couldn’t find the girl anywhere. But from the owner’s house, they heard constant crying. They went back to the court and demanded that the house be investigated. The girl was found. But for weeks, she would not eat, talk, or cry. Fatima eventually learned that every time the girl would cry for food, the owner would beat her.

(Lahore, Pakistan)

(7 of 7)