Community Outreach and Prevention
Beginning in 2015 as our newest initiative, the Community Outreach Program joined the Inter-agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) in Region 7, Philippines. In 2016, we provided trainings and workshops for 1000 students and teachers.
After a presentation last October, one participant let us know how eye opening and supportive the training had been. She further described that we helped her identify that she and her children were in an abusive relationship and gave her ideas for how she might create a different life moving forward.
As our oldest program, our Long-Term Program has cared for over 40 survivors since 2008. Read here for a description of our Second Family Approach, which focuses on relationships and resilience.
Jacky is a wonderful example of how the girls in the Long-Term Program help encourage and support one another through their restoration. Jacky was rescued by the Cebu port authority when she and a dozen other girls were seen walking through the pier on her way from her small village to the capital city of Manila to work as an internet café attendant. She came to My Refuge House when she was 14 and has gone from 3rd grade to 10th grade in just three years. She now attends the local senior high school with Ashley, one of her co-participants at My Refuge House.
Our transition program supports survivors as they move from high school on to college and/or a long-term job. Mandy is one of our transition girls. She came to MRH when she was 16. She had been trafficked by one of her mother’s friends. After Mandy graduated from our Long-Term Program in 2015, she moved into our Transition Program. Mandy has found great joy and healing by caring for the dogs at MRH. She is studying to be a social worker.
The Transition Program girls work together as they take steps toward adulthood and living a life of hope.
Family and Community Development
We work with each girl to identify and develop her supports beyond the walls of My Refuge House. From our mentoring program to our family outreach, it is important to help our girls connect with the life they will live when they leave our care. Each quarter, we host a day where all of the families get together and play, focused on building healthy relationships.
Jessica, one of our Long-Term girls, lost her family’s home in a fire. After helping them to rebuild, we also worked with her mother to develop her fish selling business at the local market. She can now better care for the younger siblings, and there is hope that Jessica will be able to move home with her mother with more support for education and without the worry of basic needs being met.