Valerie, 16, was sent by her parents eight years ago to live in her aunt’s house in a little village in Burkina Faso, as a domestic helper. Valerie is the first to wake up at 5:00 each day, and the last to go to sleep at almost midnight. She takes care of the 18 people living in the house, washing, cleaning, sweeping and cooking. When her aunt is unhappy with her work, Valerie is beaten.
Valerie never went to school. A year ago, she fought with her aunt for permission to take tailoring lessons in a center for trafficked children in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Valerie wants to be a tailor. She wants an opportunity to decide her future.
Photo: Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images