Last week Compassion First Indonesia received licensure from the Indonesian Department of Education to become a fully operational community learning center or "pusat kegiatan belajar mengar" (PKBM). This achievement is the culmination of a prolonged two-year effort to gain an alternative education format specifically for minor sex trafficking survivors being served by Ruth's House, Compassion First's primary aftercare facility.
Prior to this, the only way to fully re-engage a girl in her education was to attempt reintegration into the public school system. This option presented sincere client difficulties, which included both security and flight risks. Additionally, CF clients faced great difficulty in their efforts to formally catch up to their appropriate grade levels. Having an officially endorsed Community Learning Center within the walls of Ruth's House now allows for full educational flexibility for CF clients. Girls now have the ability to engage their catch-up work, state testing, as well as the pursuit of an individualized education plan specific to their individual needs, dreams, and personal goals. Additionally, CF is able to offer supplemental curriculum including English, music, computer skills, field trips, job exposure, and career preparation classes. These additional classes provide a more rounded education experience.
Keren Baldwin is the CF Director of Programs. She has led the team effort toward academic licensure with the assistance of an in-house professional teaching staff at Ruth's House. Comprehensive care for minor sex trafficking victims is a new concept on every front in Indonesia. As such, each component in cooperation with the government is presented with the challenge of precedent and the gaining of approval for that which has never been done before. It is a major point of progress in the continued development of an overall frontline program for both residential and community based clients being served by CF.
We couldn't have reached this monumental achievement without you. Thank you for your continued support!
Mike & The Compassion First Team
Our girls are participating in a Christmas outreach this year. Why? Because to be loved is wonderful, but learning how to love others is extraordinary; it is both healing and transformative--the very stuff that can change one's life trajectory forever.
For those of you who do not know me, my name is Bickey Lloyd and I work for Compassion First. I just returned from Indonesia. My recent visit was supposed to be short, mainly to gather information for our "Holy Night" Christmas campaign that we are coordinating for impoverished cemetery sex-workers (see more info below). Somehow my ten day stay turned into four weeks and I was set to the task of coordinating Christmas activities for the clients of Ruth's House.
I LOVE Christmas! Christmas is all about family, friends, eating, laughing and most importantly about the fulfillment of an incredible gift--the gift of love here on earth.
For some, like the clients in Ruth's House, Christmas is not as special. Some of the girls have very broken families, and broken little spirits.
When I looked at the girls and spent time with them, I could not help but see my younger self. They are teenagers, struggling with the loss of their childhood and dealing very courageously with their trauma inflicted wounds.
I was just like them when I was younger-- but something, someone, changed the trajectory of my life forever. What changed my life was not something necessarily spoken, it was not hammered into my skull, I was not told that I needed to be disciplined, that I had a rebellious spirit, and that I should change my attitude for the betterment of my soul. What changed my life was experiencing, seeing, and participating in the gift of love.
Two days ago, the girls and staff of Ruth's House brought handmade crafts, gifts and activities for the children of Sayap Kasih--a small orphanage housing disabled children. Altogether, they sang and played their little hearts out to all our favorite Christmas songs. You can view a short slideshow of our first Ruth's House Christmas Outreach 2012 here! Already, the CF Staff is seeing incredible changes. The girls have all asked if they can go back to Sayap Kasih on a regular basis, and one of our clients actually asked if she could adopt a child she had especially connected with. She now knows what love is-- and that is what Christmas is all about--the gift of love here on earth. Your contributions keep this transformational work going. Please consider a Year-End Gift and may you and your family have a most wonderful Holiday Season!
Earlier this month Indonesian police intercepted the transport of three North Sulawesi girls (two of them underage). The apprehension took place just prior to the victims being moved to another island. The perpetrators were arrested and the victims were taken into protective custody. The police made contact with the CF care team as the rescue took place.CF social workers assisted the police in screening and interviewing the victims. The youngest, whose parents were unreachable at the time of the rescue, had been previously trafficked and there were reports of neglect and physical abuse. She was referred to CF care and the older two were able to return to their homes.As a result of the rescue, the two underage girls are receiving CF aftercare services. There have now been a total of 13 rescues since CF and the Portland Police Bureau's partnered police training in North Sulawesi. The intervention has also informed specific needs in future law enforcement training efforts toward a greater understanding of child protection laws and police jurisdiction, specifically in trafficking cases. This work cannot be done without you! Please consider making a contribution or monthly pledge in support of the new clients and to further CF's police training initiative! For the sake of others, Compassion First
On May 24th, Compassion First assisted law enforcement in the rescue of three minor girls from a Sorong, Papua brothel pub. Each of the girls have entered into our care. This recent activity follows Compassion First's law enforcement training in partnership with Oregon's Portland Police Bureau.
In April, training efforts were led by Sergeant Mike Geiger, the head of Portland's Anti-Trafficking Unit and was also joined by Todd Tumbleson, legal attaché for the FBI in Jakarta. Since attending the training seminars, Indonesian police have rescued a total of ten victims of sex trafficking. Watch the Police Training Video Update Here or click the link found near the bottom of this report. The video was created for our recent banquet in California.
Our efforts are empowering Indonesian law enforcement officials to conduct intervention activities and rescues. We are, in small increments, changing the human trafficking landscape of Indonesia.Thank you for your continued support,Mike Mercer, President
Often times the word trafficking conjures up images of girls, women, and men in a situation of bondage. Physically held captive and without the freedom to go where they want, and make their own choices. While that is sometimes the case, often there is a different kind of bondage not as easily seen in victims.
CF has found that girls/women that are sexually exploited often experience a dark or more deceptive lack of freedom. It is not always visible chains that they are bound by- but often bound emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Where girls sometimes have the "freedom" to walk around, but due to positions of power on part of the trafficker, circumstances of poverty, family & community perceptions, and other factors of deception and coercion, the girls are living in a reality in which they are very much held captive.
With your continued help, CF aftercare is seeking to obtain freedom on those levels by assisting girls in a safe, healthy, loving environment. Working together with families and community, clients in conjunction with CF caseworkers can create a care plan to help them pursue their own dreams and goals for freedom. As well as assist in the process of healing with the ultimate goal of re-integrating back into their home. This is the freedom to dream, hope, and choose the steps for their future.
With time and our continued advocacy/efforts, she will find her way to true freedom.
Bonnie McIntyre, YCFI Director of Aftercare
Jan. 1 – Feb. 1 is NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND PREVENTION MONTH!
BE AN ADVOCATE!: here's what you can do today
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