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Close up of Cavo's hands behind her back
Childhood Rescue - Sep 2022

Cavo goes to extreme lengths to feed family

Read the story of this courageous young girl

Cavo longs for an education like other girls her age – instead she sells her body to feed her family

Speaking powerfully in her own words, a resilient 15-year-old girl, Cavo*, from Angola, tells her story of having to work two jobs to make 4,000 kwanzas (8USD) a day. As this was not enough to feed her mother and grandmother, she had to go to extreme lengths. She turned to prostitution. Selling her body for sex puts her at risk of getting pregnant or contracting sexually transmitted diseases like HIV.

In the face of continued drought and hunger, some young girls see no other option than using their bodies to be able to eat and feed their families.

This is her story…

Photo of Cavo

“[The drought] It’s affecting us a lot. If we can’t get anything, then we go to bed without eating.”

“Yesterday we didn’t eat anything and today we had to wake up very early to collect some leaves we have grown. That’s what we’re eating today.”

“I work in the market selling cookies and afterwards I go to people’s homes to collect dirty clothes to wash. I help whenever it is possible.”

"I support my mother and grandmother with food."

“If men come, then I sleep with them. If I deny them, how will I survive? Because they will give me something.”

“When a man wants ‘something’ everyone knows what the ‘something’ is… they lie and end up giving you only 500 or 200 Kwanzas (USD 1 or 40 cents).”

“I do this because of my mother. She is suffering because of hunger.”

“I sleep with men because I have to support my mother.”

Cavo in a grey t shirt facing away from camera

“I only get one kilogram of maize flour to eat. If we don’t have anything, like maize flour for the children or my mother to eat, they have nothing to eat.”

“For instance, I can eat anything like cookies or bread from the market. But my mother at home will not be able to eat anything.”

“We’re only managing to cook leaves without porridge.”

Cavo pictured between a doorway
Young girls see no other option than using their bodies to be able to eat and feed their families.

Together, we’re helping those children and families affected by the drought to survive, by delivering life-saving essentials they need.

Every 18 seconds, someone receives the monetary support they need. Providing them with the dignity to make choices to meet their basic needs, including medicine, hygiene items, and pay rent.

Amid disasters like droughts, your support makes it possible to reach affected communities, and deliver impact to the most pressing needs that children and families face.

Together, we’ll continue to save and protect the most vulnerable children living in the world’s hardest places. Helping them survive, recover from trauma, and build a future.


*We’ve changed Cavo’s name to protect her identity. 

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