Cora’s Story: “I am proud of who I have become”

Growing up, Cora was a prime target for traffickers. Her large family of eight lived in the Philippines. They were desperately poor and both her parents spent time in jail for dealing drugs.

Because her own family was so dysfunctional, Cora often spent time living with her aunts. But while there was food to eat and a roof over her head, Cora was vulnerable and at risk.

Cora’s aunts were involved in the sex trade, and they told Cora that joining them was the only way she could help care for her younger brother. As a young teen, Cora’s aunts coerced and trafficked her in the brothel where they worked.

Every day the exploitation continued, and Cora found herself losing hope. She was unable to imagine a different life for herself.

But everything changed the day the brothel was raided by the police. Cora was placed in a government aftercare shelter, and it was there that she was introduced to EverFree. Cora received counseling, education, job-skills training, and a loving community.

And over many years of love and care, Cora rebuilt her life. Not long ago, with EverFree’s support, Cora graduated from university and is now a social worker who serves families in her community who are at risk of being trafficked.

Terrible things may have happened to me, but life does not end there,” Cora says. “Today I am happy. I am proud of who I have become, and I am proud to help others going through the same struggles I did.