Ripples Across Generations
My grandmother’s name was Elizabeth. I called her Mimi. She was left at an orphanage when she was a toddler. She was later rescued and adopted by a loving couple – the people who I called Granny and Daddy Ben. As a young woman, my Mimi became a fierce rescuer for those in need. She crossed the proverbial tracks in her hometown to love and help people who had a different skin color. Many she brought into her home and called family.
Often the ripple effect crosses generations.
Meet baby Elizabeth… one of the newest members of our Courage family.
This baby Elizabeth was born to one of our girls at Courage House. Joan came to Courage House just a few months ago, not knowing she was five months pregnant.
At age 16, Joan was sent by her sister to the big city of Dar es Salaam for domestic work. When she arrived, she was met by a man sent by her employer to pick her up. This man took Joan to his house instead of the workplace, where she was waited. He raped Joan and locked her inside of the house, only to be found by neighbors who reported the case to the government. Joan finally arrived at Courage House and she was five months pregnant already. In April 2021, she gave birth to a baby girl - Elizabeth.
Babies having babies is common in our world. While teen pregnancy is difficult for anyone so young, it is especially tough for girls who have been exploited and trafficked. Their pregnancies weren’t planned. The babies were not created out of love. They don’t have a loving, safe family to support them. They suffer abuse and trauma during their pregnancies, many of them living on the streets. They don’t have prenatal vitamins or monthly check-ups. They don’t have enough food to eat for themselves, much less their baby. If they are in school, they are forced to quit because pregnant girls are a bad influence on other girls. A pregnant teen is a hopeless one. She doesn’t have hope for her future nor her unborn child.
That is why we say yes! Yes, to pregnant girls and their babies. We build them homes and call them family.
Many of them want to express their gratitude by naming their child after a Courage staff member. This naming practice has become pretty common with our girls at Courage House. There is already a young Jennifer, Stephanie, Joel, baby Courage and Lauren. So when Joan was searching for a name for her new daughter, Our Executive Director Stephanie Midthun remembered the story of my grandmother and told Joan her story. To my utter delight she named this precious little one, Elizabeth!
Ripple effects cross generations. This is more proof that what we say and do causes ripples effects down to the next generation.
It is also proof that your financial giving is changing the world one individual at a time. Because of your financial giving, Elizabeth and her mom no longer fear for their safety and they have a loving home. They have food to eat. They have counseling for their trauma. They have staff who call them family and, in spite of pregnancy, they get to continue their education. While Joan pursues her education and healing, compassionate staff members love on and care for Elizabeth and 11 other Courage babies and toddlers. We have so many young ones we had to start a daycare and preschool!
When I heard about the issue of child sex trafficking, I vowed I would spend the rest of my life doing something about this crime against our most vulnerable. Building homes and calling them family feels totally natural to me. However, I didn’t know I would be signing up to ask people for money. I hate asking for help, much less money. (It’s probably a pride thing.) But asking for money is an inherent part of the job description when you lead a non-profit organization – we don’t receive when we don’t ask. If we don’t ask, we don’t get to keep providing safe homes to children like Elizabeth and her mom.
So I am asking you. As we are coming into the end-of-year giving season, would you consider a tax deductible donation to our mission and vision of rescuing children from sex trafficking? Your giving does cause a ripple! Thank you, thank you!
Founder and CEO, Courage Worldwide