LEELEE: My Story of Hope
"I met LeeLee through her aunt Mae, who had come to Starfish Project with her daughter after they had both been working in a brothel for several years. Mae had never been to school before coming to Starfish Project, but now she has learned to read and write and makes bracelets and necklaces faster than anyone else.
About six months ago, Mae came to me and told me that her relatives where going to sell her 19-year-old niece, LeeLee, and asked if we could help. LeeLee’s mother had abandoned her when she was very young and her father remarried a couple of years later. His new wife didn’t want LeeLee around, so they sent her to live with her grandmother. The two of them lived out in the deep countryside where they farmed. LeeLee was never allowed to go out, make friends, or go to school. She only stayed on the farm and helped her grandmother.
She is 20 years old now and her grandmother recently passed away. When this happened, Mae was the only relative willing to help LeeLee, because her own father wanted to sell her. Mae asked me if we could offer her a job and I agreed.