Warning: I found this hard to write, you may find it hard to read.
A Flame child has been raped. The perpetrator has been arrested, but the crime committed against this girl will follow her for life. Can anyone communicate this kind of thing without loosing hope?
We have been waiting for some closure or news before letting our supporters know, letting the dust settle around the publicity too. Her picture was published in the papers and she was ostracized and bullied for telling. When someone is arrested in the community, there is a sense of betrayal, and a communal acknowledgement of lost income, and she's to blame. Her journey is a long hard one, that's for sure.
The perpetrator was arrested the day after her grandmother went to the police with the support of the assistant village leader and reported the crime, but we are unsure of where it's been left. Often times the perp will pay off the police and give a gift to the family, a kind of out-of-court settlement.
We are glad to say that the girl has been removed from the community and placed into protective care. When she returns to her family she will need ongoing counselling and support.
I know a young adult who has incredible trauma in her past, her childhood was a series of nightmares... but today, she is a confident leader in her community, she is bright, vivacious, and determined that her past will not limit her future. She is a student at university, and her dream is to help women to be safe when they travel as migrant labourers.
I think about the little girl and I am so deeply disturbed, but when I look at what she has the potential to become, I feel I can breathe again.
If you want to help kids like this to become strong nation changers, please donate.
Kids colouring at one of our centers