2018 ended on a high note for us here at Challenging Heights! In December, after nearly 2 months of investigating, the Challenging Heights Rescue team was able to rescue 42 more children from forced labor. The 42 children consisted of 38 boys and four girls all within the age range of 5 to 16. The children were originally from the Central and Greater Accra Regions and sold from their communities to the lake for the purpose of forced labor.
The children entered the New Year at the Challenging Heights Hovde House and will embark on this new journey in 2019. Each child received a medical check-up and any necessary medical care. They will also be screened for PTSD individualised care plans will be created. The children are being assessed on their academic levels to ensure they are placed into the appropriate classes suited for their abilities. Following this rehabilitation period at the Hovde House, each child will be reunited with their family. After they are reunited with their family, Challenging Heights will continue to support the child with counseling and sponsorship to attend school.
In 2018, Challenging Heights was able to rescue more than 100 children from forced labor, this was made possible by YOU! Thank you for your continued support!
Recently, I accompanied about 9 children to visit their families before we finally reintegrate them with their families. Many were eager to see their family members, many were nervous of where they were going to, and many had questions of what life is going to be like.
They were all welcomed home with lots of hugs, smiles, and shouts of joy. Our integration officers explained our policies and expectations to the family members. The children are on their path of a new life and a new beginning. Those few hours of spending time with their families will give them a chance to understand of what their new home will be like after they are fully reintegrated.
Their successful recovery is because of your support of the Challenging Heights Hovde House. These amazing survivors would not have made it this far without people like you who care about their future.
It was that time again recently: Reintegration Day! Last month 17 boys and girls had made it far enough along their path to recovery to move on from the Challenging Heights Hovde House and back into their communities with their families. They were all welcomed home with lots of hugs, smiles, and shouts of joy.
This was all just a few days before the school term resumed, so the children would be able to start school just as their peers returned as well. So far, each of the children has been settling into their new school routine very well and their teachers are happy to help support them in any way necessary.
Their successful recovery is because of your support of the Challenging Heights Hovde House. These amazing surivivors would not have made it this far without people like you who care about their future.
In March, our Rescue Team went on a rescue mission on Lake Volta and returned to the Challenging Heights Hovde House with 14 boys and girls. Rescues are never an easy thing to do, and this one was no different. In some communities we face resistance and asked for extra support from the police. Thankfully our team was able to stay safe throughout the operation and rescue 14 children.
Now those 14 boys and girls have settled into the Challenging Heights Hovde House. Our team is working with each child individually to assess their needs phsycially and emotionall and creating care plans. Our Reintegration Team is working hard to trace their families and to begin reintroducing the families before reintegration. The boys and girls are receiving medical care for any illnesses they may have and have been going to school.
Your ongoing support gives these children all of this. You are ensuring that they get everything they could need to recover and prepare to return home. It's because of you that they are able to recover, grow, and thrive. Thank you.
When the boys and girls come to the Challenging Heights Hovde House, the majority of them don't know when their birthday is. They have spent years, sometimes, being treated as an object. When they come to our recovery shelter, they are loved and celebrated.
Which is why we've made it a tradition to throw the children a birthday party on Valentine's Day. It's a day for everyone to show their love to those they care about, which is why we thought it was the perfect day to celebrate these incredible survivors.
So, on Valentine's Day, while the children were in class, the staff prepared for a party. They popped popcorn and set up speakers. They bought birthday cakes and ice cream. And when classes were finished, the music was bumping, the boys and girls were dancing and everyone took a chance to blow out the candles after singing "Happy Birthday."
Your support of the Challenging Heights Hovde House is a celebration of the children there. Thanks to you, they had their very own special day.
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