Education Helps End Cycle Of Human Trafficking For 12-Year-Old Girl
ARCADIA, Calif., Aug. 31, 2017 : Nicole is one of the lucky ones. She was rescued from human trafficking two years ago and has not talked much about what happened after her eldest sister pimped her to a cybersex ring.Nicole is one of 24 girls who now call My Refuge House in the Philippines home. A California nonprofit, My Refuge House is focused on restoring the lives of children affected by this form of modern day slavery. It provides a residential therapeutic care home for survivors working toward completing high school.
To cover the girls' educational expenses, My Refuge House is launching a crowdfunding campaign to raise $38,000 to pay for one year of education for all 24 girls. In the Philippines, it is estimated there are 300,000-400,000 people trafficked, of which 100,000 are children. In 2014, almost two-thirds (65.8%) of the estimated 35.8 million people in modern slavery globally were in the Asia Pacific region.
"Education is at the center of this epidemic," Heather Bland, CEO of My Refuge House, said. "Education helps these survivors succeed and gives them the ability to choose a path in life where they can support themselves. Education has the power to prevent and end human trafficking."
When Nicole first arrived, she was 12 years old and had not yet completed second grade. With such a low level of education, Nicole was at a high risk of once again becoming a cybersex trafficking victim. She couldn't expect to receive further education if she returned to her family's shanty. My Refuge House could give her the opportunity she deserves through an accelerated homeschool program.
Determined to finish her education, she is now more focused and takes more initiative in class. In less than two years, she has advanced three grade levels. My Refuge House teachers and house parents have discovered that looking forward motivates Nicole, and she shares her dream to become an architect. Nicole's more immediate dreams include becoming a My Refuge House peer leader through the leadership development program that helps girls learn how to take on healthy "big sister" roles with the other girls on campus.
The Education for Restoration Crowdfunding Campaign plans to raise $38,000 to support the educational needs of the girls living at My Refuge House.