December Update from Courage Worldwide
Ten years ago I learned that we live in a world where children are sold for sex. At the time, I had never met anyone exploited in this manner. Now I have met hundreds. They have faces and names and stories unique to each of them. I have had them in my home to live, to celebrate and to laugh. I know their nightmares, their fears and their hopes. After 10 years, I am convinced more than ever that the greatest need for most victims of this crime is a home and a family. People who will walk beside them as they navigate their unique healing journey AND provide tangible resources so they can be and do all God created them to. So as an organization we continue to do just that …
Last week I received a call from our Directors in Tanzania – Joel and Stephanie Midthun – that one of our 12 year old residents at Courage House needs a very specialized operation; surgery that must be done in another country. Prior to coming to Courage House, her mom sold her to various men in her village.
This past week at the Northern California Courage House Too (our over 18 home) one of our young residents, who is a single mom of a one year old, got a job and is finishing her first semester of college!
December 7th, we are celebrating graduation from our C2BU (Courage to Be You) school in Tanzania – a school we started for residents at Courage House. We have two girls graduating from Form 4 – which is equal to high school. Both plan to further their education where one will be studying to be an attorney and one a social worker. We have another resident who is attending Vocational College studying Hotel Management. The remainder of our girls will began a new school year after the Christmas break. This time
It is now Christmas break and our girls are getting ready for visits to their families if they have been deemed safe. If we know their families cannot protect them or have exploited them, they will remain at Courage House to celebrate the holidays with staff. Whether they return to their families or remain, the highlight of the year is getting a new outfit for Christmas. The cost of this new outfit and shoes is about $20. This year, prior to shopping for the outfits, 3 of our residents asked, if instead of receiving new clothes, could they have flour, sugar and oil to take home to their families. Our social worker was taken aback at the request since everyone was thrilled with the prospect of the outfit. She asked the girls why the substitution – were they wanting the food to be a gift to their families? No, they replied. Each explained that at their last
Some girls won’t be going home this Christmas here in the U.S. and in Tanzania as their homes and families are not safe places. Because of this, residential housing continues to be a priority at Courage Worldwide. Without a roof over their head, young girls and women are vulnerable to traffickers who all offer a place to live – even if the cost is extremely high – selling their bodies. When a young woman has no place to call home her chances of exploitation are extremely high. Last week, we received a call from a former resident of Courage House who was living in her car and was wrestling with the choice of returning to her trafficker. We were able to encourage her to continue her journey of healing but only after supplying the tangible resource of paying her month’s rent. Now she has a safe place to live while she looks for a job. You did that! Your support and prayers provided her a safe place to call home.
Tuition, therapy, mentoring, case management, rent, food, diapers and encouragement - are all resources we provide at Courage House Too here in Northern California and at Courage House Tanzania, as well as
Our days are busy and our hearts are full. Thank you again for all your past support. We prayerfully ask that you consider Courage Worldwide for your yearend giving as we continue our work with these vulnerable individuals. Thank you and Merry Christmas.