One of the most important steps in the rescue process is providing quality aftercare that will allow our survivors to heal and go on to provide for themselves as adults. Immediately after the rescue happens, aftercare specialists are on site to help transition the rescued children to aftercare homes. As Tim Ballard has said, “There is no rescue without rehabilitation.” Helping survivors of trafficking on the path to healing is one of the most vital parts of our process – and one that also presents some challenges.
Recently, three little kids under the age of eight were rescued by government officials in Latin America. O.U.R. had spent time with these government officials before the rescue to provide training for rescue operations.
Before operations that take place, O.U.R. goes to the area of the rescue to identify the best quality aftercare homes to partner with. The O.U.R. Aftercare team believes we can build relationships with these homes so the survivors can have access to O.U.R.
representatives, vocational training, additional social services staff added if needed, and sponsored education. These elements are crucial for survivors as they begin their individual healing processes.
O.U.R. representatives visit aftercare homes around the world to provide love and support to survivors. Vocational training is important so that they can go on to make a livable income. Sponsored education gives these survivors opportunities to gain an education and also go on to make a livable income.
After this rescue happened, O.U.R. operatives requested that the three children be placed in one of the aftercare homes that we partner with. Government shelters do not always have all the resources for sponsored education and vocational training, and that is why we spend a lot of time and resources on vetting and supporting aftercare homes around the world.
However, we always defer to government authority when placing children in aftercare homes. Because of this, it is crucial that we have a relationship with the local government authority to work with them on placing these children in the best place possible.
Importance of Collaboration with Governments
In this specific case, these three children were placed in a government shelter after the rescue. The O.U.R. team is working hard to collaborate with the government to move these children to a shelter with more resources to provide for their future. These are some of the challenges that come with placing survivors in aftercare homes, and some of it is out of our control. Although these cases take time, it is worth it to make sure that the survivors have the best care possible.
One obstacle that we have come across is leadership change in the government.
O.U.R. operatives take time to develop a relationship with local governments that we work with so that there is a mutual trust when performing operations and finding aftercare. New leadership starts the cycle of building up mutual trust over again, which often means that it takes longer for processes like the one described above with these three girls.
From an outside perspective, the O.U.R. team understands that government officials that are not familiar with our organization may not trust our recommendations in the beginning, but this trust is something that our team works hard on building. It is important to the O.U.R. team that the survivors have access to vocational training and sponsored education, and a place that will provide for their needs until they are adults.
A Crucial Fight
These three kids that the O.U.R. team are working on moving to a new home are all under eight years old. We are working together with the government to provide support and resources, but we understand that this is a process that can take a long time to work out.
We have hope that things will be able to move forward as they have in other countries. We are grateful for our operators for being so patient and knowing how to work with these great leaders all over the world.
Although it takes time to do this, it is important to us that these girls are placed in quality homes that provide for their education and futures. There are some details to still work out, but we will not give up placing the girls in a home that best fits their needs.
What can YOU Do?
Donate $5 per month and become an Abolitionist today. We can win this fight together!
Spread awareness. SHARE this article.