Survivor Stories

Part of “News & Events”

Faizah Fought to Save Her Daughters From the Same Fate

Posted by on May 24, 2018 in Featured, Survivor Stories

Meet Faizah, Survivor from Sudan Faizah grew up in Sudan with the expectation that all girls would undergo female genital mutilation (FGM). In Faizah’s tribe, the procedure is a long culturally practiced method considered an induction into proper womanhood and is typically conducted on girls as young as five. Faizah was seven when she underwent female genital cutting in conditions that continue to haunt her. Conducted in an unsanitized home and with no anesthesia, the experience left her in excruciating pain and with horrific memories. The first procedure was considered a failure, so her...

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He Escaped “Slavery’s Last Stronghold,” Only to Endure More Abuse as a Vulnerable Migrant

Posted by on Dec 18, 2017 in Featured, Survivor Stories

Meet Yacoub, Survivor from Mauritania For years, Yacoub moved from country to country seeking reprieve and refuge. Mauritania has been called “slavery’s last stronghold,” with an estimated 17% of the population still living in inter-generational slavery. As a child of the Wolof tribe, a disenfranchised ethnic group, Yacoub was forced into punishing labor and street begging in place of grade school. After several attempts to run away, Yacoub finally returned to his family’s farm, only to watch the 1989 Border War between Mauritania and Senegal erupt. During the war, his tribe and...

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“Right now, PTV is my family. PTV is really hope for the hopeless.”

Posted by on Aug 30, 2017 in Featured, Survivor Stories

Meet Rehema, Women’s Rights Activist from East Africa On any given day, you’re likely to find Rehema buzzing away at her newly donated Singer sewing machine. The intricate seam work and concentration she pours into every stitch helps drain the rampant energy she has stored and prevents her from lingering too long and hard on the five children and husband she misses. Rehema arrived in the U.S. six months ago from East Africa. She had come to participate in a conference on leadership and women’s empowerment. This issue has been a lifelong passion and her commitment has driven her...

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“We didn’t leave our country to seek a better life. We left our country because we were running away from death.”

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Featured, Survivor Stories

Meet Hassan, Survivor from Syria When the protests first broke out, Hassan, like many of his fellow citizens, looked at the start of the Syrian Revolution with hope: hope for a new beginning for their country, and an end to many years of corruption and oppression. For generations, Hassan’s family has suffered the costs of the Syrian regime, so when the fighting intensified, he dedicated himself to helping those in need of assistance. Because of the success of his family’s business, Hassan was able to provide families with free medicine, food, and clothing. He even provided shelter...

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Transgender Woman Attacked as Salvadoran Police Refused to Help  

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in Featured, Survivor Stories

Meet Adriana, Survivor from El Salvador Adriana grew up in Central America, a region which has one of the highest murder rates in the world due to endemic gang violence, but it is lesser known that it has the highest rates of LGBT violence in the world as well. Hate crimes against transgender individuals have continued to rise within a culture of absolute impunity for perpetrators, and deep-seated prejudices towards victims; which is exacerbated by a penal system that does not recognize crimes motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity. “For many reasons I was forced to...

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This Gentle Baker Fought to End Corruption and Voter Intimidation

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in Featured, Survivor Stories

Meet Kachig, Survivor from Armenia Kachig is known around the office at PTV, not only for his gentle kindness, but also because every Monday, he brings in a new delicious dessert for everyone to try. Back in his home country of Armenia, he was not only a successful and creative baker, but he was also an activist who courageously stood up to political corruption. He fought for the freedom of assembly and the right to vote for whomever you choose, a pinnacle of American democracy, of which he deeply desired to have instilled in his own country. Violence and coercion at polling stations have...

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