A Day in the Life at Courage House
A day at Courage House begins at dawn, where Jane awakes from a peaceful night’s sleep in her dormitory room. She shares this space with several girls—girls she considers sisters at Courage House. They all understand the hardships entrapment in sex trafficking brings and the perseverance it takes to overcome this trauma. She used to wake up uncertain of where her next meal would come from; even worse, uncertain how many times her body would be exploited and violated that day. For once in her life, Jane feels safe.
Her mother sold her from their own home. She didn’t know where to turn for help. The women in the village despised her because their husbands bought her and used her, though it was against her will every single time. What child would choose this life?
At just eleven years old, Jane never attended school, though she longed to do so. Now at Courage House, she finally can! After morning chores and a hearty breakfast, Jane attends C2BU School on Courage House’s campus. School was difficult at first; Jane didn’t know how to read well, write, do math, or even sit in a classroom consistently. Despite these difficulties, she knew this was they key to unlocking her future. Her teachers encouraged her and were patient as she progressed through her studies to catch up to her appropriate grade level.
After school is where the fun begins! Today, the extra-curricular activity is choir. Jane loves to sing; through this art form, she feels free. In collaboration with the music teacher, she expresses herself in a variety of ways—playing instruments, singing in the choir, writing music, acting in interactive plays and dramas, and performing songs in small shows for the supportive staff. Other days, there are sports, special outings (even swimming!), Shalom Club (an engaging mind-body-spirit after school club), and more!
After these fun recreational activities, it’s time for dinner. Jane has never had a balanced diet, let alone a consistent meal schedule—she has never eaten fruits and vegetables for every meal before! Jane is the healthiest she has ever been. Before each meal, the girls and staff gather together to share their “gratefuls”—these days, there is so much to be grateful for.
Jane can remember, on her first day at Courage House, she was asked by a social worker, “Jane, what is your dream?” No one had ever asked her this question before.
In counseling sessions, Jane’s counselor has helped her design her Unique Life Plan. Jane and her counselor worked together, envisioning her future: what she aimed to study, her future career path, where she wanted to live, what family life she wanted to maintain, and more. Her counselor helped her process her past little by little, equipping her with techniques that were crucial in navigating the impacts of PTSD and trauma—managing flashbacks, coping with panic attacks, and navigating life in a healthy way through skills never imparted to her by her own mother.
The loving staff, each with their own special focus at Courage House, treat Jane as a caring mother or father would. She has a safe space to reside, nutritious food and clean water, preventative and curative medical care, trauma-informed counseling, specialized education (from secondary all the way through university level), the ability to attend church services and have spiritual mentors, and friends and sisters for life. Jane has every basic need met, allowing her to pursue finding her unique purpose. As she embarks on this journey, she knows the supporters of Courage Worldwide—those whose gifts allow this program to exist and changes lives—are championing her toward her unique destiny.
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