Between now and the end of the year, the Light Campaign highlights images that represent light and darkness to children who have been sexually abused. We celebrate the creative spirit that exists in children despite dark times they endure.
- Mahatma Gandhi
This image Sarita* captured to represent light focuses on the care and love she receives from the shelter home where she stays.
Sarita comes from a very poor family. She was sent to work by her parents to help them earn money. Alone, Sarita was extremely vulnerable. As Sarita was shuffled between employers, she was exploited and suffered emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Finally, Sarita was rescued and placed in a protective shelter that became home and connected her with people who love and care for her.
“Didi’s (shelter home staff) love has always grown with time and I never miss my mother when she is with us,” Sarita says. “She supports us and guides us in all difficult times. I believe that whenever I am in trouble, she will be there.”
Ultimately, our hope is for children, like Sarita, to return home and live with their families. But when a trial is ongoing, returning home could put the child in danger. CSJ partners with protective shelters, like the one where Sarita stays, that provide a home for children until they can safely return to their families. The support and care the shelter home staff give carry light into the dark shadows of these children's lives.
CSJ partnered with a shelter home on a photo project that resulted in images used in the Light Campaign. All project participants reside in and receive psychosocial support from the shelter home. While CSJ provides legal and psychosocial support during criminal proceedings to some of the project’s participants, some images used in the campaign are from participants who we do not represent.