A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors

by Compassion First
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A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors
A New Shelter for Sex Trafficking Survivors

In the middle of its first year of operating, Grace House and its residents are taking new steps. The last three months have brought a new school year and its first formal school relationships for its first and future residents. For one girl who transferred from Sarah’s house to Grace House in February, she has taken a huge step and rejoined the formal classroom setting at a nearby school. She is engaging with new peers and making new friends. Though most classes are currently held online due to COVID-19 precautions, she has been able to attend meet-ups outside with small study groups, learning together and making life-giving connections, a huge step as she begins to look forward to future reintegration back to stronger new life and community.

Also, this coming weekend Grace House residents will have a ceremony that celebrates the completion of a 10-week curriculum together that teaches and inspires these truths: that each girl has incredible worth, that they possess great strength, and that they have a real purpose. As survivors learn and engage these foundational values, it births new hope and new vision as they continue to heal, rebuild, and to see new possibilities for their future.

We are so grateful and humbled by your partnership with Compassion First. It makes new things possible for every girl of Grace House and it is a huge joy for us to walk with them in their journey! Thank you!

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Our staff has shown to be heroes through this pandemic time and time again. Daily life is looking different at Grace House, our home for child survivors in East Java, Indonesia. We continue with partially quarantined operations with limited in and out activity. All staff who can do their work from a distance are doing so, while others have signed up for multi-day shifts to limit the number of entrances and exits per week. As you can imagine, everyone, girls and staff alike, would like things to get back to normal as soon as possible. However, we are gearing up for the long-term as the COVID-19 crisis is predicted to have a broad and devastating impact in Indonesia. 

Recently, one of the young survivors in our care had a medical emergency and needed to spend a few days in the hospital (not COVID-19 related). She was accompanied by her house mom who was a source of comfort and support during a scary situation. This house mom knew the risks and stayed in the hospital amidst a global pandemic because of love.

The girls and staff have also made adjustments academically, ensuring that education remains a priority. The girls now have access to virtual classes and have been able to maintain continuity. It is important that each of them continue catching up in their academic levels as well as not falling further behind. The staff have also worked very hard to ensure that the girls stay productive and have access to program activities and projects to keep them engaged and excited. Quarantine has allowed for an opportune time to learn new skills both in the kitchen and technologically. There is no doubt that relational bonds will be strengthened through this chaotic time, and we are grateful to have such a dedicated team to keep the shelter safe and thriving amidst a pandemic.    

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Grace House is officially preparing to DOUBLE the number of trafficking survivors in our newest shelter. Is it from 1 resident to 2? Sure. But that is absolutely still worth celebrating! Because when you are working against something as personal and complex as child trafficking, it's not really a numbers game. It's about real people, saving the lives of innocent young women from sexual slavery. In the big picture, is just one more girl really going to make a difference? You bet it is.

So celebrate with us that one more girl is in safety! And we can't wait to double those numbers again soon!

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For this report I would like to take some time to tell you about some of our unsung heroes. As Grace House has gotten up and running this year, it's easy to focus on the wonderful girls that are being rescued and living with us at Grace House, and rightfully so. It's for them that we do all this after all. But our full-time, live-in aftercare shelters - the backbone of our operation - don't run on their own. We have an absolutely amazing staff at Grace House that keep the wheels turning. And it takes a lot more people than you may think. That's because we aren't a typical business or drop-in shelter that operates 9-5. 

Due to the current lack of survivor care infastructure in the areas we operate, Compassion First aftercare centers like Grace House are directly involved in every aspect of a girl's recovery from sexual slavery. After their rescue, most of the girls live at Grace House until they can be safely returned to family. Or if they have no safe place to return, they stay with us until they are old enough to live on their own. This requires a host of wonderful "housemoms" and a full security team that work around the clock to ensure the girls have everything they need during an extremely vulnerable time in their lives. We employ educators, couselors, lawyers, and other specialist to provide the specific services the girls require throughout their years with us. It requires a large, dedicated, loving staff to run Grace House. 

But as you can imagine, these are not always easy or simple jobs. In fact they can be very demanding. But our staff serve faithfully because, like you, they love these girls and want to see healing and redemption in young lives that once only knew abuse and violation. But it goes beyond the walls of Grace House. Our staff are long-time residents of the region we serve. They are working hard to make their cities better, safer, more just places to live, whether it's within Grace House or through partnerships with local government, law enforcement and schools. So join us in thanking our incredible staff! And thank you for making their labor of love possible!

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Below is a report and call to action for the newest addition to our anti-trafficking work in Bali, part of our expansion into central Indonesia:

 

Bali is internationally recognized for the exploitation of its nation’s children and for being a popular sex tourism destination.

Bali is as dark as it is beautiful.

Women and children from very poor families throughout Indonesia are taken or lured to Bali with a promise of honest work. Traffickers confiscate ID and legal documents, making it impossible for their victims to return home apart from outside rescue and resources.

That’s why we are here.

There is only a very small handful of anti-trafficking organizations fighting for Bali’s most vulnerable. Most are severely under-resourced, unable to single-handedly tend to the needs of the women and children seeking freedom and a fresh start.

After nine years of survivor care and prevention work throughout the islands of Indonesia, Compassion First is opening a Resourcing Center in Bali. We want to provide vital support resources to our friends on the frontlines.

The challenge is great, but together there is no limit to the good we can do. To get started, we estimate the cost to be $2,000 - $2,500 per month for the first year. Will you join us?"

Links:

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Compassion First

Location: Beaverton, OR - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Keren Baldwin
Beaverton, OR United States
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