Namfon Tote | The Story
Destiny Rescue’s vision is to rescue children from sexual exploitation. But it’s not as simple as removing children from the sex industry. When we free a girl and bring her into Destiny Rescue’s care, our work is just beginning.
Rescue is obviously a crucial part of what we do, but Aftercare and Reintegration is also vital. Helping girls heal from the trauma they’ve experienced isn’t quick or easy, but it is absolutely worth the time and effort.
When a girl is brought out of an exploitative situation, she doesn’t just go back to the innocent child she was before. Some of these children have experienced deep betrayal and trauma which must be worked through before they can function in society. Others were pulled out of school at a young age and need more education before they can find safe employment. The children’s backgrounds and situations vary considerably.
Aftercare is the important next step for our girls after they’ve been rescued. The average time a girl takes to progress through our entire Aftercare program and reintegrate into society is between six months and two years, depending on the individual. The relationships the girls build in our rescue homes are an important support system to help them heal and trust again.
In our Aftercare program, girls are cared for by house parents native to their country, receive counseling and, with the aid of their individual caseworker, decide what they want for their futures. They attend classes in one of our Learning Centres or a formal school, receive vocational training, or begin employment.
“There are so many factors at work that we need to be aware of. It’s not just about rescuing girls; we need to deal with the vulnerabilities that caused them to be exploited in the first place. Many of the girls in our care feel huge pressure to earn money for their families. So we can’t just educate them; we need to provide earning opportunities as well” says Megan Buxton, Destiny Rescue’s International Aftercare and Reintegration Director.
Providing housing, food, health check ups, school fees, vocational training fees and more for our girls in the months and years after their rescues is our biggest expense as an organization, but we believe the investment is absolutely worthwhile. Being able to offer this type of support and education to these girls is often a huge motivator in their choice to leave the sex industry, and it definitely paves the way for them to have bright futures and achieve their destinies.
This post first appeared on the Destiny Rescue Blog. To read the entire post please visit Destiny Rescue at www.destinyrescue.org.