“My idea of a safe home is where we nurse the bird’s broken wing. If we do well with our nursing, then the bird should be able to fly again and out of the safe home, and soar to the heights it was meant to reach.”
— Dr. Gundelina Velazco
Anger, sadness, hope… We in the Love146 family experience these seemingly conflicting emotions often.
When a child who was formerly trafficked comes into our care, we tremble with rage — furious that they could be subjected to such disregard and evil.
When we learn the circumstances of her exploitation, we are wrecked by grief — unable to imagine what this small child went through just days or weeks prior.
And when we remember the literally dozens of survivors who have dreamed, who have smiled, who have trusted again — it is then that hope springs eternal.
A few weeks ago, we welcomed three new girls to our Round Home in the Philippines, including 15-year-old Gabriele. Love146 Director of Asia Aftercare Dr. Gundelina Velazco said that Gabriele’s exploitation began when her mother sold her virginity to an old man for 10,000 pesos, which equates to roughly $242.
“Thereafter, her mother [sold] her to men a number of times a day, in order to satisfy her drug addiction. Her mother beat her up if she refused.”
Gabriele eventually took to the streets. It was at this time that a local social worker took notice. When we went into the town and asked if there were any children the social worker could refer to us, they mentioned Gabriele. We’ve been caring for her ever since.
It is with anger that we listen to Gabriele recount her story and describe the selfishness of her mother.
It is with sadness that we understand that these three girls are just a few of the many children being trafficked on the streets of her town.
It is with hope that we remember that recovery is possible.
The path to restoration is a hard one — become a monthly Partner and make sure it is a path that Gabriele will not walk alone.