A young boy sat on the dirt floor of a crowded sweatshop. Eyes wide, he pleaded.

“The shop owner’s gone. Can you take me with you now?”

I looked at the floor and paused.

“I’m sorry,”  I said. Our small nonprofit’s funding for the year was long gone. “We can’t. At least not yet.”

In my 10 years working to rescue and redeem young people from slavery, I’ve never felt such emotions. Desperation and sadness overwhelmed me, as they do hundreds of thousands of young men and women in the city of Addis Ababa who are enslaved and deprived of successful, long-lasting futures.

Yet, the boy’s wide, expectant eyes also filled me with hope.

“We’ll find the funding,” I told him. “We’ll come back for you. We promise.”

Out of this promise Friends of Beza was born.

If you’ve been around Beza a while, you know we give 90 percent of our proceeds to rescuing and rehabilitating youth from forced prostitution and sweatshop labor. How could we possibly do more?

With Friends of Beza, we give you the agency.

You choose how you’d like to fight slavery. Whether it’s rescuing a young woman from forced prostitution through Beza Rescuers, or helping us safeguard children from falling into slavery through Beza Protectors, each sponsor program plays a transformative role in a child’s life.

We never want to enter a sweatshop or brothel without the funds and capacity to say yes to every child who is ready and willing to leave. Will you join us?

Click here to learn more about our new child sponsorship program.