Rescuing Sophie


Living on the streets of Jakarta is hard enough for anyone, but imagine how hard it is when you are a 16 year old girl and 8 months pregnant?

Sophie, while begging on the streets, was unknowingly followed by a violent rapist who preyed on homeless young women. Sophie was brutally assaulted and raped, and left traumatised and pregnant.

The Youth for Christ staff in Indonesia first met Sophie when they heard voices in the sewers below a huge rubbish dump. They climbed down into the sewers and discovered a number of children (known as “Rag Pickers” because they scour the dumps collecting rags and other recyclables). At first the children tried to flee, but the staff called after them assuring the children that they meant no harm and had brought food for them.

The children”s living quarters were only slightly elevated from the waste that freely flowed through the tunnels. There were all using a single mattress to sleep on. That is where the staff found Sophie.

The children had been taking care of this now heavily pregnant 16 year old. They were very protective of her and would not let the Youth for Christ staff get too close to her. The staff eventually convinced the children, through their care and practical help, that they would not harm Sophie and so were able to talk to her and assess her condition.

Over the coming weeks, the staff were able to admit Sophie into a clinic to check out the health of the baby. They moved her into dry accommodations with a bed and running water, and when the time came for the baby to be born they paid for her to give birth (to a healthy child) in a hospital, rather than in the dark rat filled sewers.

Youth for Christ continues to care for Sophie by providing her with vocational training and funds to start her own small business. Sophie is now able to house, feed and clothe both herself and her toddler from her own micro business initiatives.

As a World Changer you join others in equipping and empowering these young staff along with many more.

Eleven-year-old Nung stands on the mountain of rubbish where she will collect recyclables, at the Bantar Gebang landfill site, one of Jakarta’s biggest sites. Nung is just one of many young people who live this way in Jakart – young people that Youth for Christ staff seek to help.