Human trafficking has become a worldwide problem. It seems that there are frequently stories on the news of women and children being rescued. But what happens after a child is rescued from the horrors of trafficking? Let’s take a look at Nicole’s story of how a young girl can go from being an abused victim to a strong, vibrant young woman.
Spoiler alert – homeschooling plays an important role!
(Nicole Studying – picture taken by MRH staff)
Of five siblings, Nicole was the second youngest. Surviving the daily dangers of the streets and helping her mother sell coffee and noodles was a way of life. School was not included in this way of life once she was old enough to help. She is also the survivor of Cyber Sexual Exploitation. She was discovered after Law Enforcement identified her in nude photos sold to foreigners. Nicole testified in court against her eldest sister, who was her pimp, and she is currently in jail.
In 2015, Nicole was one of the lucky ones rescued. Once rescued, twelve-year old Nicole couldn’t return to her family’s shanty. With only a second-grade education, her options of moving forward were limited and the risk was high that she would end up in the same situation. That is where Nicole’s journey of recovery and education began at My Refuge House.
(Nicole – picture taken by MRH staff)
My Refuge House (MRH) is a long-term after care facility in Cebu, Philippines that helps rescued girls heal and grow into strong, independent women. Thanks to a partnership with Angelicum College, My Refuge House is able to offer an accelerated homeschool program. This program allows girls to get a customized education plan that caters to their specific educational needs.
For a girl like Nicole, attending a public school right after being rescued is not a healthy or even viable option. When someone has been through so much trauma, there are many things that can “trigger” terrible memories and send them into a downward spiral. Since these girls are also so far behind in school, they aren’t able to jump right in at their grade level and move forward. They need something suited just for them.
This makes homeschooling the perfect option.
Besides, being homeschooled can be more fun, right? MRH girls get to enjoy so many unique learning experiences beyond their traditional studies. An early morning Zumba class, daily Bible devotions, learning basic business concepts through selling fish from their own hydroponics system, tending to the goats and banana trees, and enjoying some unique field trips are just some of the benefits they get to experience because they are homeschooled.
In the past two years, Nicole has advanced three grade levels and is quite determined to finish her education. When she first moved in, she had a difficult time focusing and couldn’t stay awake. She now excels in math and dreams of one day becoming an architect. Emerging from a shadowed past, this homeschooled girl’s future looks pretty bright!
If you feel inspired to be a part of helping girls like Nicole get the education they deserve, please check out the My Refuge House education crowdfunding campaign that is happening right now.
Amber Schlosser, a resident Southern Californian, is passionate in the fight against modern day slavery and believes that we have a duty to band together and stop it. She is energized by working with others who want to make a difference. A willing heart coupled with actions has the power to make dramatic change. Amber enjoys experiencing those changes with others as the Development Director at My Refuge House.
Amber is happily married to Jacob, who brings out her adventurous side. From diving under water, to diving out of an airplane, they always find a way to have fun. They enjoy living life together with their three young children, who always keep them on their toes. In her spare time, you can find Amber reading, sewing, or traveling to a new place.