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She is strong. She is brave. She is free.

Pavi's* Story

As the crowd cheered my team-mates and me, I couldn’t stop smiling. I was so happy to be there on that field, winning a medal for my team. Today, I am a district-level hockey player. One day, I hope to represent my country. I know I can do it.

Just a few years ago, I was a domestic servant washing dishes and clothes for no salary. My owner physically abused me. Later, I discovered he had been preparing me to enter the world of prostitution. Luckily, that day never came.

I was rescued when I was eight by my government and IJM. Since then, I have had some amazing and kind didis who are social workers walking with me, encouraging me to pursue my dreams. I have a green-belt in karate, but hockey is my real passion.

When I was living in the shelter home, I was inspired by the senior girls who played hockey. As I watched them every day, I longed to be just like them – strong, agile, and a team player. When I was 10, I walked up to the coach and asked if I could join the team. To my surprise, she allowed me to join, with the promise that I wouldn’t injure myself. Since then, I have practiced hard and represent both state and district teams.

One day, I hope to find my parents. I know they would be so proud of my hockey achievements, but more importantly, I just want my family.

Instead of allowing the scars of my past to define me, I am choosing to overcome them.

*Name changed to protect identity.