Bella* is a young 11-year-old girl that we have been working with in one of our partnering aftercare homes in Peru since she was rescued from trafficking. Her aftercare home has hosted some amazing interns from Utah State University, who have provided classes for the survivors’ parents to learn business skills and practices to help prepare the family financially for the child’s eventual return. Two months ago, Bella’s mother let someone on the aftercare staff know that she didn’t want Bella anymore because of what she has been through and the efforts needed to get her back. Her mother decided it was just easier not to have her. The social worker immediately reached out to Jessica Mass and Tyler Schwab from the O.U.R. Aftercare team to ask them to keep Bella in their thoughts that day. This social worker needed the strength to tell Bella about her mother when she got home from school that day.
Since then, our Aftercare team has been trying to figure out how to help Bella feel loved and extra special at the aftercare home. It turned out that her birthday was coming up, so they decided to throw a birthday party for her!
The O.U.R. Board of Governor’s trip was over Bella’s birthday and they wanted to take her out to celebrate.
The kids enjoyed a remarkable magic show from O.U.R. Board Member Brett Bunker during the party. He captured all of the kids’ attention from the very beginning, especially with the trick that made it look like a cup of water was going to be dumped on someone’s head!
Bella enjoyed every minute of her birthday party. Through the whole thing, this amazing young girl was constantly thinking about others. One of her main concerns was that all of her social workers were fed. She walked around to make sure that all of the aftercare home staff were able to eat. “One of the things I loved about the birthday party was that her birthday wish celebrated everybody in the aftercare home,” said O.U.R. Aftercare Director Jessica Mass. We are so happy that we had the chance to celebrate such a special young woman. Just one hour into her party she said,
If birthdays are like this, I want to live to be 1,000.
We are incredibly grateful for our Board of Governors and generous donors that make our work possible. Seeing Bella light up at her birthday party was an important reminder of why we fight for the ONE. We will continue to walk with Bella along her path of healing to help her see her bright future ahead.
*Bella’s name has been changed for her protection.
What can YOU Do?
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