On April 20th, the Tufts Task Force had our third annual benefit concert, this year with the theme Love in Action. It was at the end of a long week here in Boston-- the Marathon was the Monday before, and the day before the concert was when the city was on lock-down. By Saturday evening, everyone could use a reminder of hope for healing, and we were honored for our event to be able to provide that for our campus.
The night was filled with performances from students that spoke to what Love is supposed to look like through song, dance, and poetry. There were also art installations around the room that highlighted what becomes possible when everyone takes action together towards a greater goal. One of the most beautiful sights of the night was the completion of the "Freedom" installation-- we had sheets of cardboard that had small dots marked on it, and each time someone donated, they were given an LED light to stick onto a dot. At the end of the night, it looked like this:
Another lasting memory from the night is the comment of the Campus Safety Officer who was working at the event:
"The TUPD officer working our event on Saturday said this: "It's amazing how you guys can tackle such a dark issue without letting it get you down. You would think that people putting on an event like this would be all depressed and quiet. All of you are in this fight but you are all still so happy and you know how to have fun. You keep your heads up. I think that's such an important message you're telling people."
This movement isn't about dwelling in sadness or guilt-- it's about seeing the possibility of restoration through the smog and working together to make it real.
Hi Task Forces,
Here are three beautiful stories of restoration about the girls in the Round Home, in the words of Dr. Gundelina Velazco, Love146 Director of Asia Aftercare:
“The Round Home is again witness to another girl reaching a milestone in her life of renewal, against the odds. Deaf and exploited, there were countless times when she wanted to quit. We persevered in making her persevere. A staff was assigned just to watch and look after her each school day for the past three years that she has been at the Round Home. Deprived of her education for a long time before coming to the Round Home, today she graduates from elementary at age 20. We fetched her mother from Cebu to be part of this momentous event in her life. Her sister and nieces also came to celebrate with her. Having brought home a diploma to the Round Home, she must have gained much self-confidence.”
“She was a classic case of exploitation in all its forms. She also had all the resulting bad behaviors. It seemed that she would forever be a patient for restoration. It was a seemingly unending zigzag, up and down process with her. But what is important is that we stayed with the process. “Now she is a houseparent with all the desired qualifications, having finished a caregiver’s course, for which she also attained government accreditation. She also guides the girls with conviction and credibility because she has been there, done that, and has obviously learned her lessons. “She is a product of the Round Home training and discipline. She is also a fruit of the Round Home love that not only heals, but also makes effective healers out of patients.”
“She was down in the depths, tried to kill herself several times, and was uncommunicative when she first arrived at the Round Home. There was a very deep wound to heal. She has gone a long way. “Now she tutors younger children at the Home. She is also in-charge of the spiritual development of all the girls. All the girls respect her as the model of complete restoration and as their most credible adviser. She is now a very effective healer. The love that healed her wound is the same love she now gives to those who are still in pain.”
About the Round Home:
Love146 knows that children can only be truly freed from exploitation and slavery if a home of safety and holistic care is waiting for them. That's why the Love146 Round Home in the Philippines is uniquely designed to facilitate the restoration of every child entering its doors.
Within the Round Home, there are no sharp edges or corners so as to reflect that there are no sharp edges in the behaviors of care-givers. A tree house is used for therapy sessions. A volleyball court is available to play on. There's even a punching bag for children to work out their aggression. It is a place where lives are restored and broken children can simply be children again.
We opened the Round Home in 2009. Since then more than 40 girls have received care here and over 30 have been reunited with their families or reintegrated back into their local communities. Join us as we reflect on a few highlights over the past three years in the Round Home...
Read more stories here: http://love146.org/aftercare/stories
Update: £100,000 reached!
The Run for Love 1000 guys aren't even halfway through their 1,000-mile run through Eastern Europe and they've already raised more than £100,000 for Love146 Europe!
Guy, Rob, and Tom are three friends from the UK who are running a 1,000 miles over the next month (the equivalent of 39 marathons in 33 days!) from Odessa to Dubrovnik. Their goals for this incredible feat are:
- To raise £150,000 to enable Love146 to build the UK’s first trauma recovery centre for trafficked children; and
- To raise awareness about the scale of human trafficking across Europe.
Meet the runners:
Here's a post by Guy on CNN.
And a report from The Running Blog on The Guardian.
Follow the runners throughout their run here: http://www.runforlove1000.com/
Here's a guest post from Dr. Glenn Miles, Director of Asia Prevention--
Why is it that boys have been left off the equation when it comes to sexual exploitation and trafficking? Is it because they aren't exploited?
The limited research available including our own indicates that men and boys can and are exploited.
Is it because there is only a few of them so are deemed not important?
Firstly, usually special attention is paid to minority groups, they are not left out! Secondly, how do we know if there are few or many without evidence and how can we generate evidence unless we are paying attention to this invisible group.
In Cambodia there is a proverb that says that, "girls are like a piece of cloth . If they are thrown into the mud, then it is soiled forever."
The implication is that a girl is all about vulnerability and nothing about resilience. In contrast, the description of boys is that, "boys are like a piece of gold. If they are thrown in the mud, then they can easily be wiped clean." Really nothing has changed. The implication is that the boy is all about resilience and nothing about vulnerability.
This cultural perspective is not much different than the popular stories from the West of Sleeping Beauty vs. Aladdin where girls are similarly only vulnerable and boys are similarly only resilient. In this understanding it is difficult for people to believe that girls can be healed and restored or that boys need any kind of care or help. Girls need rescuing. Boys need to grow up and stop crying.
At Love146, we have chosen to make a point of reaching out to this significant group.
We are capacity building organizations who are reaching out to boys and young men (as well as transgender males) in Cambodia, India and Thailand.
We are doing research with our partners and associates into the issue and demonstrating that boys can be vulnerable and need help to become resilient. So far we have completed research in Mumbai, India, Phnom Penh and Siem Riep, Cambodia and Manila, the Philippines. In the next few months, we have plans to do research with young men in Chaing Mai, Thailand and Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The results are disturbing but finally we have evidence to demonstrate to Governments, UN, Embassies and civil society that this problem must be addressed. Are you going to read the evidence and advocate with us for change or will you continue to "bury your head in the sand"?
Glenn Miles, PhD (University of Wales), MSc. (University College London), RN-C, RN-A, RN-CA, PGCE-PCET, ACIE is the Love146 Director of Asia Prevention. He is responsible for capacity building Love146’s prevention partners in Asia.
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