We first met Bia when she was 13, and living in a brothel on the side of the BR-116, with her one-year-old son.
As we got to know her we learned how, from an early age, she had been pushed into a terrifying world of abuse and exploitation – and worst of all, by those who should have been caring for and protecting her.
Aged ten, she was made to deliver handwritten notes to old men in Medina, offering her body for sale. Aged 11, she fell pregnant.
When the Pink House first opened, Bia proved to be our most difficult girl by far. Rebellious and volatile, she would smoke drugs in the toilets, refuse to take part in activities and was a bad influence on the rest of the girls.
Once, when we discovered she had ‘sold’ one of the younger girls to a man in town, who was waiting outside the Pink House to collect his ‘product’, we decided to ban her for a month.
But then something happened. Bia began to change, slowly at first. She was more affectionate, more cooperative, more attached to our staff. Then she began to open up, talk about her experiences and express a desire to live differently. It wasn’t easy for her or us, but a miracle was happening in her life.
Now aged 16, Bia is today one of our best girls at the Pink House, our pride and joy. She returned to school, is learning to make the right decisions, and – far from being a bad influence – daily counsels our other girls to also strive for a better future. And because of what she has been through herself, she is helping many girls to experience transformation too.
We are thrilled to tell you that, starting this week, Bia is our new member of staff at the Pink House.
She is working as our beauty salon teacher, earning a salary with dignity to help herself and her family. Her role is more than just teaching the girls how to do their hair and paint their nails, it is to befriend them, be a listening ear, and show them how much they are really worth – something that Bia already does so well.
Three years ago, no-one at the Pink House imagined what Bia would become today – our miracle.