Sandana is a girl I read about today, and I wanted to share her bravery with you.

I read a snippet of her story in the book ‘Just Courage’ by Gary A. Haugen (details of the book at the end). Haugen is the President of ‘International Justice Mission’ which is an inspiring charity working to bring real justice and freedom to the oppressed around the world. Their work includes freeing slaves who are forced to live and work in all kinds of places, and Sandana was one such slave, trapped with her family in a rice mill. IJM workers had freed Sandana and others and brought them to court to testify against the violent mill owners. Sandana was 12.

The mill owners had bred such fear into their workers that the IJM team had to watch as freed slave after freed slave denied ever being oppressed in such a way. But Sandana was different. This is how Haugen tells her story:

‘Bit by bit, my IJM colleagues watched helplessly as the black cloud of lies descended over the proceeding… That is, until little Sandana found the courage to do what the bullies most feared: she spoke the truth.

‘To her parents’ horror, Sandana explained that her daddy couldn’t tell the truth, that the owner beat her daddy and they were all afraid to say what was really happening. Struck by the raw power of innocent truth, the magistrate said he thought a child would not lie about such things. Emboldened, Sandana’ s father and the other slaves now confirmed the story one by one…’

Sandana’ s choice to speak out even resulted in more slaves being found and freed.

I just thought her story was worth sharing 🙂

The book Just Courage is published by InterVarsity Books and you can find out more about ijm at

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