Late last year we received an emergency foster care case of an infant girl nicknamed "Om." She came to us with cigarette burns on each cheek because her mentally handicapped mother was upset she was crying while her father was out working. She was removed from her home by local authorities, and the plan was to simply send her to a government orphanage for good. However, we offered to provide foster care to Om to give the family a chance to make the home environment safer and for the mother to receive help.
In April we were overjoyed to be able to take her back to her family. Her father had given up smoking, had made the home more child-safe structurally, and the mother had received professional psychiatric help. Om has an older brother who was thrilled to have his little sister return home. We trained the family on how to provide better childcare and are getting positive updates from local nurses who are checking in on the family. Thank you for helping make The Light Center possible. Because of your investment in our work, an entire family has had their life changed.
Earlier this year we were contacted by a remote hospital in our province about a pregnant 12 year old girl. She had been sexually abused enough times that she was no longer counting. A relative told us that the first known attempt was at age 5 when a drunk neighbor tried to assault her. She bit the man's hand and her screams brought someone to the rescue, but that was only the beginning. When the hospital brought her to The Light Center she was already 4 months pregnant. She recently gave birth to a healthy baby boy we've nicknamed Matthew and she has shown remarkable progress and maturity for her age and the trauma she's been through. With our team by her side, she has bravely talked about her experiences with police and public prosecutors. One of her known abusers recently received an 88 year prison sentence for the abuse which was immediately halved to 44 years because of his guilty plea.
This young woman's parents are missing and it's not safe to go back to the village she came from. However, a foster home in our foundation network that's usually full said they had an opening for her. She chose to give Matthew up for adoption so he will stay at The Light Center until matched with an adoptive family, but she will be able to continue school and live in a foster home with no more than 6 girls at a time, full time parents, and a full time social worker that can continue her therapy. Last week our counselor had her write down her future goals; one of which is to eventually go to nursing school.
Two lives were saved and both have a bright future ahead of them because of the work The Light Center is doing. Thank you for partnering with us!
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