My Refuge House: Restoring Life One at a TimeMy Refuge House (MRH) is a home for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and abuse. They help put the girls back on their feet with comprehensive and therapeutic care and provide an environment filled with love, as they believe it is a place to heal. Through the years, MRH has provided aftercare for more than 40 survivors. In 2015, they added another home to increase long term capacity and created a transition program for older girls. They now have a community outreach program focused on prevention and advocacy.
How they began:
In a small church in Southern California, members sought a resolution to help meet the needs of survivors of commercial sexual exploitation and abuse. One woman brought International Justice Mission founder Gary A. Haugen’s book “Terrify No More: Young Girls Held Captive and the Daring Undercover Operation to Win Their Freedom.”. She started giving out the books to church members and soon after, they formed My Refuge House together.
They started their mission in Cebu, Philippines as it had a high level of trafficking. It is a well-developed hub for business and tourism. Sadly, it has also created a high demand for sex workers. The small church raised funds to build the original home for the victims.
After a few years, the church, with their other partners, have continued to support and encourage My Refuge House in their mission to help victims of human trafficking.
MRH partners with schools, organizations and churches to provide preventive education to communities in the Philippines. They also promote the “iSpeak: Break the Silence. Stop the Violence” initiative. They provide trainings and workshops for both students and teachers.
The organization provides comprehensive, therapeutic care in-house to help them finish elementary and high school. They also provide transition aftercare to help the girls study college or finish a vocation as well as work programs.
As the last step, MRH helps develop a reintegration plan for the girl with her identified family or community. They support each girl and her family for two years as they transition into the community. They do this to help the girls connect with their life as they leave the MRH. Each quarter, they host a day for families to have fun and play together. This helps them build healthy relationships with each other.
Check out this video to learn more about their mission.
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