On our knees: Introducing our first rescue.
Today, I want to introduce you to the first child we rescued because I want you to see the transformation that takes place when child survivors receive safety, justice, and healing.
Meet 9-year-old Flora*. Flora is a fun-loving, precocious, and energetic child. She is the ring-leader on the playground and her friends might say she’s just a little bit bossy. You’d never know from meeting her that she’d experienced a brutal attack.
In March 2021, just a few days after publically launching Rescue One More (R1M), we were asked to help Flora. Just 7-years-old at the time, Flora had been found alone and barely conscious in her home after being brutally raped.
She was in bad shape. A neighbor picked her up and carried her down the road until she found a boda boda driver willing to take her to the hospital.
Thankfully, Flora made a full recovery. But the trauma of the event left her with deep emotional wounds.
I remember meeting Flora just a few weeks later. She was understandably scared, withdrawn, and anxious.
Through our partners at Mercy Child Care and the newly forming Community Action Team in her community, we were able to launch a search for the perpetrator, facilitate trauma therapy, do family tracing, and eventually resettle Flora into a safe and loving home.
Our team has continued providing Flora with counseling and her family with the psychosocial suupport they need to recover emotionally and ensure their home is a safe and child-friendly environment for Flora.
Today, Flora is thriving in school, at church, and at home. She wants to be a nurse when she grows up!
As of Dec. 2023, Flora is one of more than a 180 children we’ve been able to help since March 2021.
Her story reminds me of a classic Ugandan worship song I love. When the chorus arrives, everyone drops to their knees and sings: “Bwenzijukira eyo eyeyanzijja, nenfukamire nze wansi nkusinze”
Don’t worry I’ll tell you what it means in just a minute.
Over the last 33 months, God has given us strong ministry partners that are establishing Community Action Teams (CATs) to fight abuse in their communities while providing safety, justice, and healing to child survivors.
Working in three major districts, these partners provide opportunities for us to influence over 6 million people.
Statically, in Uganda, more than 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys experience sexual violence. Since more than half of the Ugandan population is under the age of 18, you can deduce that about 500,000 girls and 250,000 boys in the districts we’re working in experience sexual violence.
We’ve got our work cut out for us, but if the last 2 years and 8 months have taught us anything, it’s that our God is willing and able to provide.
Thank you so much for your prayers, love, and support. You are bringing hope to survivors and transforming communities, one child at a time.
Oh, and by the way, the translation of the chorus of the song referenced above says:
“When I remember where He took me from, I kneel down to worship Him.”
We are on our knees. 🙌🏽