A morning with teenage abolitionists
We’ve met some of the people who make up the future of the abolition movement. And some of them have braces.
We’ve met some of the people who make up the future of the abolition movement. And some of them have braces.
What makes my work with Love146 so special is that no matter how many times a young person is uprooted or shuffled around from place to place, I can promise them that I’ll stick around. Our relationship to them won’t be uprooted and wiped away.
Suddenly, all of her usual sarcasm and joking disappeared. Jade began to share that the hurtful things that she’d heard from the people raising her. She just wanted to feel at home somewhere, but they made her feel like she was “more than they could handle.” That moment was so heavy — she just sat there, brave and silent, with these feelings of rejection, waiting to see how I would respond.
When you’re in the middle of grief and anger, it’s hard to see yourself as a creative participant in your own bright future. But we believe this is possible. So do a lot of kids in Love146’s survivor care — and they have powerful things to teach us about the beauty of what is to come for each one of us.
We had people over for the Super Bowl last weekend. We had a Patriots themed party for goodness sakes, with Patriots plates and napkins and cups and banners. But really? I had this persistently surreal moment and all I could keep thinking is: It’s a game. It’s not real life.
Thirteenth birthdays are a big deal. And today, we want to celebrate a very special one. It taught us all something about generosity and the power of one person, no matter how young, to change the world.
A group of teens in Pennsylvania wanted to engage with the issue of child trafficking. After spending an evening learning about the issue and serving Love146 behind the scenes, they asked themselves what kind of words could bring hope and healing to a young person in a situation like this. Here are some of their messages — and if you have survived something yourself, these letters are for you, too.
This December individual donors and matching donor, Michelle Phan, contributed a breathtaking $119,199! Michelle Phan shared, “We will do anything to help create a future where children are safe. This is our radical mission. This is our purpose. 2017 will be a powerful year. We are just beginning!”
Whether we’re 7 or 70, we owe a lot of thanks to the people in our lives who remind us to be goofy, to be brave, and to be ourselves. Check out these pictures of the youngest children in our safehomes being good friends to each other. We promise: It’ll make your day!
The children in the Love146 safe homes recently took a field trip…
I met with a high-risk youth so we could talk and do some safety planning. She made clear that she wasn’t going to cooperate, that there was nothing I could say that would matter to her. That is, until I mentioned sexual assault, how it was never the fault of the person who got hurt. Then, something happened that surprised both of us.
Does the moment described in “Silent Night” have anything to offer to people who are suffering? What difference does one calm, loving scene make in this world where so few know peace?
For a lot of us, the holiday season has its challenges. It reminds us how things “ought to be,” and we may find ourselves wishing our lives and families looked more like the happy, healthy ones we see in movies and Christmas cards. This is true for many children in Love146’s global survivor care programs. We’re determined to do whatever it takes to help them feel important and loved during the holidays!
The children in our care are not voiceless. Translated from their language, tagalog, the words in these videos below are directly from the boys and girls in our care in the Philippines. There is no silver lining to being trafficked or exploited, but there is a shining resilience in humanity that refuses to be extinguished.
Sonya recently told us: “I am building my life, piece by piece. Despite everything that happened to me, I believe there’s a wonderful plan for my life. I am determined to unravel the future waiting for me.”
Some days it feels foolish to believe like this, to tend our defiant hope against so much darkness. But this holiday season, inspired by children, we’re determined to keep our candles burning longer and brighter. As one child in our survivor care has said, “When we are given light, we should give that light to others.”
We’re so grateful for those of you who gave today. For every donation, there is a child who will feel your support making a difference in their life. We’re moved by the reasons that each person chooses to give – here are a few of those things our supporters shared…
Fifty-seven years ago today, the United Nations officially adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It states in its opening that “mankind owes to the child the best it has to give.” This year, on International Children’s Day, we need to ask ourselves: are we, the adults of humankind, giving children the best we have to give?
So much of my work with Love146 leads me back to that place of anger and grief. Each time I have to go there, I want to hide from it, step around it, seal it up. But the day that happens — the day I’m no longer affected by the pain of another person — is the day compassion ends for me.
For children whose needs and agency have not been respected, self-care helps them learn how strong and important they are. “Before, other people controlled my life. Now, I have control over myself,” says Cate. And that transformation can start with things as simple as brushing their teeth, taking their vitamins, or washing their hands before they eat.
What’s the buzz at the Love146 safe homes? Six new hives of stingless bees! Under the children’s care, the safe homes are reaching a new level of sustainability. Seeing kids collaborate so beautifully with nature, we’re reminded that cultivation is very, very different from exploitation.
The survivors who live in our safe homes are children, and that breaks our hearts. But it also means they deserve to be children.
Some days, a bright future seems too good to be true. But when you walk into class on the first day of university and see your very own laptop light up on the desk in front of you, anything seems possible.
Urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a new bill that would provide training for physicians, nurses, social workers, and other clinical care and security personnel to identify, assess, and provide appropriate treatment or referral for people suspected of being human trafficking victims.
How a digital consultancy firm and an organization of abolitionists ended up together. …
October is national Anti-Bullying Month, and we are struck by the ways in which Not a #Number, Love146’s child trafficking and exploitation prevention program, can create a space where youth feel safe to share about their experiences — ways they’ve been hurt, ways they’ve hurt others — and learn strategies to build their resilience, identify support systems, and increase their empathy.
Listen to Love146’s UK Chief Executive, Tania Bright, as she shares more about the significance of this day for our work combatting modern day child slavery in the UK, and abroad.
We can’t undo the events that made them grow up so fast. But we can show them that there is so much more to who they are than these experiences. When a survivor in our care starts to breath deeper, laugh, discover who they are and what they’re passionate about, and experience their childhoods… that’s the day abolition arrives in their life.
Hong escaped exploitation a year ago. Now that freedom is starting to catch up with her, she’s learning how to keep her hopes for the future alive in the present.
For years, Lanh didn’t have a way to talk about the violence she had been through — that is, until the day a child she barely knew helped her find the words she needed.
This summer, Yamile’s fourth birthday was an occasion to celebrate the bright future of all children, no matter their past. Learn how you can join in the celebration by putting your love into action!
I’ll never forget the first time that my youngest son recognized that I was a different color than him.
A lot of people ask us what life looks like for the children in the Love146 safe homes in the Philippines. The answer? You might be surprised by how “regular” it appears.
It’s harder to feel useless when the little tomato garden is growing healthy under your care. It’s harder to believe that nobody has hope in your future when a grown-up is reminding you to take your vitamins. It’s harder to believe you’re unlovable when the baby goat comes running to you every morning.
Five myths about trafficking in the UK. The bottom line: They’re children, they’re here, and we have to safeguard them.
A teenager learns how to recognize the signs of trafficking — and knows what to do during a potentially risky encounter.
Every child who comes to our safe home door means we as a society have been too late. Nevertheless, we persist. Because every child is precious. Because we have seen again and again that love can overcome.
Without a focus on justice, there’s a dark possibility that for every child we care for, another spot for a child to be victimized is vacated. Hear about what motivates the children in our Survivor Care Program who choose to testify against their exploiters in court…
Tips on staying safe and minimizing your vulnerability while playing Pokémon Go. Because you’re worth more than Mewtwo. (And you’re DEFINITELY worth more than Pidgey.)
Music plays an important therapeutic role in our safe homes for children who have survived trafficking and exploitation. As they heal and play and grow, they fill the space with song.
Our US Survivor Care program has meant the world to children in Connecticut, children we know by name. Individual donors helped start this from scratch. That’s hope. Now, it will be expanding substantially, thanks in large part to contributions from fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders. That’s justice.
At Love146, we know home is a big deal. And since our U.K. Survivor Support doesn’t currently offer residential services, we find other ways to make home happen.
Make yema with the kids in your life and help them wrap it up. Print these labels to tie or stick onto the packages, and then let the kids sell the candy to support the work of Love146!
The fall of 1961 was marked by turbulent times in the U.S. The entire nation was gripped with fear.
There are too many forces in this world that make young people’s worlds feel smaller. We’ve found in our prevention work that the solution doesn’t come from new rules to follow or new things to fear. The solution is stepping into a bigger world.
It’s obvious to us that the Love146 farm animals have cared for the kids just as the kids have cared for them. We owe them a big thank you.
If there were more of us who carried shame when we should, there would be fewer people carrying it when they shouldn’t.
One of the most disturbing things about the recent Stanford rape case is that there seems to be a willful refusal to see the victimization and Brock Turner’s responsibility for it.
We’re reminded of the power of simply SEEING the problem when, in our prevention program, a teen boy looks at us with tears in his eyes and says, “I think I’ve hurt someone.”
When the Round Home goats gave birth this spring, their newborn kids reminded us that this world is not an easy place to be small.
We opted to go through his apps and messages. Kik was the first one we opened. That’s when we discovered “Laurie Bartlett.” This attractive, 20ish, flirty blond with great taste in underwear had, for some unknown reason, taken an interest in and privately messaged my 12-year old son.
When life feels safe enough, your eyes and your heart can begin to open to the beauty and wideness of the world.
Driving, like many things, holds therapeutic potential in our Survivor Care. For one youth, it means a big step towards a future with even more freedom.
Don’t ask for more details. Don’t feel you should reciprocate vulnerability. Do believe them.
This month, for the first time, volunteers in New York State connected with a local business to fund local work supporting our in-depth prevention education curriculum, Not a #Number, designed to help keep vulnerable youth safe. `
A few weeks ago we brought a young boy into our care at the White Home for boys in the Philippines. He was removed from a situation of exploitation with other children for an international cyber-porn operation. The perpetrators have been arrested. The good news is that he is now safe and beginning his long road of recovery.
My investigation into the source for a commonly shared trafficking statistic led to a horrifying conclusion: That the stat was just not true… and was the result of someone doing some really illogical math.
Tuyen was trafficked into the UK, exploited as a domestic slave, forced to work in a nail bar, and then then forced into sexual exploitation. As was the case with Tuyen, Love146 supports young people in foster placements, being present with them when they speak with the police, and assisting them through the court process. We’re there for as long as they need us, whatever it takes.
While law enforcement wrestles the tech industry over encryption and privacy rights, what’s a parent to do?
A supporter writes: There is something really unique about the way you educate about your cause, something raw and at the same time so loving that attracts me. I don’t know as much about any other organizations to which I donate as I do about you.
While notable progress has been made in terms of buy-in, some agency leaders and personnel continue to not see human trafficking as a concern in their local communities. We need a strong on-the-ground understanding and enforcement of current laws, as well as tools and protocols for identifying, investigating, and prosecuting these crimes.
The story of hope from a 1-year old survivor of exploitation.
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