Ten Times More Likely To Be Victims of Trafficking
According to recent studies, girls aging-out of orphanages are 10X more likely to be victims of trafficking and 33 people become entrapped in sex trafficking rings in Guatemala every day! There are currently over 500,000 orphans in Guatemala alone and one child is abandoned in Guatemala City every 4 days! None of them want this, none of them want to be there.
Rocsana’s Hope was initially conceived when it was realized that there are virtually no programs or social services available in Guatemala for orphans once they age out of the orphanages they grew up in. Also, there are no private ministries or organizations that are solely dedicated to this particular group of young people. This was actually confirmed to us by a Director from the Guatemalan government run orphanages. They had been searching for two years for an organization that helped these kids and we were the first they have found.
Not only do these orphans have nowhere to go and no one to help them, most are not ready to survive in the Guatemalan society on their own. Consequently, many of these vulnerable young people become targets for numerous types of exploitation and trafficking. This is especially true with the young women.
A young lady, who has been an orphan and then is suddenly being turned out into Guatemalan society, faces a very dangerous and unforgiving culture, where people looking to exploit her are everywhere. Sadly, she is at a much greater risk of becoming a victim of an extremely abusive relationship with a young male, put into a forced marriage with a much older man, or being targeted by human traffickers looking to exploit her for their own greedy gain. This is a reality of life for an 18 year old orphan girl in Guatemala and because they are considered “adults” there is no help available to them.
Poverty, abuse, forced marriages, servitude, and exploitation are a few of the possibilities that these kids face when they leave their protected environments. We believe this is a huge and glaring need that is going largely unnoticed in Guatemala. The ministry of Rocsana’s Hope is designed to help this specific group of young ladies, those who have grown up in orphanages but are being turned out at 18 with virtually no life skills, no opportunities for higher education, and no one willing to help them bridge the gap and make the transition from child orphan to independent adult.