When to-do lists and busyness take over my time at Love146, it’s…
When to-do lists and busyness take over my time at Love146, it’s…
How do we measure success? — and other quick updates about how we’re continuing to fight child trafficking…
A member of the Love146 team in Africa reflects on presenting our “My Body is Mine” flip chart: “The children in Madagascar need to be reached because their parents aren’t talking about sexual abuse, or sexuality, with them. So kids aren’t aware of it. Even me, I was not. I didn’t know the meaning of the word “rape” until I was 15. It wasn’t until I was older when I understood what it was.
A report from a Love146 social worker: Survivors of child trafficking live in lots of different settings, and I go where they go. One of my youth is living in a group home that only offers a certain generic shampoo, and as a black girl it leaves her curly hair dry and brittle. Imagine having a bad hair day – everyday – while you’re trying to do some really really hard emotional work, like recover from sexual assault and trafficking. Love146 makes sure needs are met so youth can focus on the huge task of reclaiming their lives. Sure, sometimes that has high price tags, but last week, just $8 got her some ethnically appropriate shampoo. And it was a big deal.
No time for breakfast. Meet a new youth coming into our care. Go over safety planning. On to next appointment. Grab a salad. Meet with another youth who was the victim of a traumatic assault. Try not to cry. Remind myself that with the right support we know they can have wonderful lives.
How can we equip a youth in a short period of time to protect themselves from the dangers they could be facing?
Trust us, this is the kind of blog you want to read…
A recent report from from the UK has everyone talking. On the surface, the news is disheartening. The number of British national children referred through the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) has gone up by an astonishing 66 percent since 2016. In fact, the new numbers don’t point to an actual surge, but a noticeable change in practice of frontline staff who have received better NRM training and are now able to identify these children.
When Jelena first came to our care, she wouldn’t discuss what happened to her, but little by little, she has begun to open up and process. Jelena enjoys caring for the animals on the Love146 farm, going to school, and she recently won first place in the rope jumping contest.
Resilience generally means the ability to bounce back or recover from trauma or difficulties. In the physical sense, resilience is the ability of a material to resume its shape, after being deformed. For the children in our care at the Love146 safe homes in the Philippines, resilience means more than that.
What happens when you bring a group of eight wary young survivors in our long-term services to a Wilderness School for a day of trust-building outdoor activities? They soar.
What does justice look like for the youth in our care? For one youth in our survivor care program, justice includes having the person who trafficked and abused her convicted, sentenced, and publicly admonished by a judge.
Whenever we were with the children in public places, people would ask, “Who are all these children? Are they siblings?” I would say, they are cousins or they are playmates, or just ignored the question. Now I have determined that Love146 children will be called “scholars” instead of “clients” as they would be called in all the other safe homes or shelters in the Philippines. The children’s eyes lit up when they heard the word “scholar.” And as I explained why “scholar” is an appropriate term for them, I thought I saw great self-worth dawning upon their faces.
Our Rapid Responses help youth understand how a perpetrator uses manipulation, tricks, and force to take advantage of them. We talk about how easy it is to be taken advantage of. How everyone has things they need, things they struggle with, and how someone could use these things to build trust for the sole purpose of exploitation. This may be the first time that he or she is told: “It is not OK that someone treated you this way.” It may be the first time they hear: “It is not your fault.” Or that: “You are valuable and important.”
She’s still a little nervous as she gets out of the car, walks through the garden. This brick path has carried many young people with heavy histories and cautious steps. But she’s grinning from ear to ear, taking in the plants and the cricket song and the sweet night air.
“I’ve heard of pimps and I knew to be scared of them – but I didn’t realize that the person I thought was protecting me was actually my pimp.”
— Brianna, one of more than 200 youth who have been served by our U.S. Survivor Care program
When will our society learn that victims are NOT criminals?
The story of one remarkable 17-year-old in our Survivor Care…
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.
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.
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!
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We recently welcomed a 1-year old survivor of human trafficking into our care in the Philippines. Yes, a One. Year. Old.
When you’re standing in the midst of a dream come true … and a 5-year old who you would think shouldn’t have a reason to even smile again pulls you out onto the dance floor to dance … you dance.
A survivor learned enough of the warning signs to seek help, and a community mobilized quickly to help keep her safe.
Caroling is a tradition in the Philippines, wherein children go from house…
At Love146, different forms of self-expression are encouraged, including music. Every little sound they make is met with lavish praise and encouragement.
A profound poem by Cecily, a survivor being served by Love146 in our Round Home in the Philippines.
“I met him at the mall… I met him at the park…
What if we were passionate about people, not things?
“Thank you for giving me shoes.” “Thank you for giving me decent…
“We are the world’s children. We are the victims of exploitation and…
Our Director of Asia Survivor Care shares about what a safe home means to her.
On our “fridge door” for the children in our care, this is what we’d put up.
Our Director of Asia Aftercare describes the powerful ways education can transform a survivor’s life.
What does education mean to survivors of child trafficking in the Round Home? No one says it better than, well, the survivors of child trafficking in the Round Home.
Remy has spent years with Love146 recovering from trafficking. Last fall, she received a bike from Specialized Bikes. This is a piece she wrote in response.
Recently, Specialized Bikes, one of the largest bike brands in the world, donated 16 bikes to survivors Love146 serves, as well as provided a training on how to maintain them. Here’s how Josephine, a survivor in the Round Home, describes the significance of bikes in her own words.
In the Love146 safe homes, the appalling consequences of child trafficking and exploitation brutally confront us everyday.
Thanks for registering for the Action Community.
Login to get started.