To date, Emerge has worked with nearly 300 girls, coming from all parts of Sri Lanka. Girls have learned to count and do basic math through our programs; they have spoken their first words post-trauma; they have planned businesses and community projects; they have made friends who will support them as they transition into adulthood; and they have developed a renewed sense of confidence in themselves and their own goals.
Every $1 invested into a girl’s materials helps her generate more than $3.80 in savings. Each girl’s savings is held in a secure individual savings account and is made available to her at the age of 18, when she is no longer supported by the shelter. Through Emerge, some girls have saved as much as $1,800 in a year. Girls have used this money to finance future education, take care of children, pay for medical support, run businesses, and even build homes.
Testimonials from Program Participants
Emerge Alumna, Age 21:
“An unexpected event changed my life one day. My fate was changed in a way that I never thought it would. It left me at my lowest, heart broken and lonely. At that time, when I was without any help, feeling sad, it was the beading workshop that helped ease my pain and loneliness and helped me make up my mind and console myself. The satisfaction I feel in combining beautiful colors, designing and completing a beautiful necklace or bracelet is hard to describe in words. These workshops have helped me succeed in life and face life as a successful human being to this day. I thank the people who helped me and guided me through this difficult time. Now as my career, I have dedicated myself to teach girls that have faced the same challenges as me. I do it with immense happiness.”
Emerge Alumna, Age 20:
“My life had taken a very unexpected turn and I was very sad about it. I felt trapped between four walls, cramped in a building, alone among people I didn’t know. I couldn’t imagine how long I would have to stay like that, sad and hurt. It was during these days of helplessness that the Emerge team came into my life. My life changed with their arrival. They taught us how to string beads to make a necklace. This was a simple thing but it made a vast difference in our lives, because we could generate savings by making these necklaces. They opened bank accounts for us and deposited our savings in them, which we could access once we become 18 years old. This is a tremendous service to us.”
Some of our girls’ success stories can be viewed here.
Why Emerge Matters
Dr. Vivimarie VanderPoorten, award-winning writer and Emerge Mentor:
“Emerge matters because it is empowering, not only
Stephanie Siriwardhana, Miss Sri Lanka (2011-2012):
“Being a woman, the cause Emerge Global stands for is obviously very close to my heart. Many of us have been blessed to never endure the hardship and trauma that many girls in Sri Lanka, and throughout the world, sometimes silently, have to go through. There are too many innocent young girls here who have their dreams and hopes for the future ripped away from them due to sexual abuse and the stigma that comes with it. Unfortunately there are also many other odds against these girls and so I think what Emerge does is magical and inspirational. It gives these young girls a second chance, not only to dream, but, to make their dreams a reality through concrete means of empowerment, self-sufficiency, education and support.”