Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our New Girls!

We now officially have eleven girls residing in the Total Impact House! (One of the girls is absent from the picture. She was not feeling well.) The last month has been an arduous one for Blake and Pauline as they traversed a seemingly endless mountain of legal and social impediments. Persistence prevailed, however, and six more girls are free from a life of prostitution.

One of the biggest problems we face is the potential beneficiary’s loss of income. The money they’re making via prostitution is often the primary source of income for an entire family. If the girls don’t already have children, they have younger siblings, unemployed parents, or even extended family members to support. Sadly, seizing the opportunity to flee from a life of sexual exploitation is considerably more complex than it should be.

For example, one of the girls in the POH outreach program, regrettably, declined Pauline’s invitation to stay at the house. She is fifteen and cares for her twelve year old sister and ailing grandmother. If she entered the program, she explained, her grandmother would then force her younger sister to start selling herself. Sacrificing her own body in order to save her sister from selling hers, she chose to turn down the offer of safety, healing, and an education. Thankfully, she continues to meet with Pauline for counseling and participates in the outreach program’s activities.

While her story represents the majority, there are girls able to break free. We are grateful for our six new sisters—grateful their circumstances were not insurmountable and they can make the most of this new opportunity.

Welcome home girls!