11 Year Old Girl Rescued!
It’s my great pleasure to introduce you to the newest member of our Unlikely Heroes family: Kala
Kala is short for Kalayaan which is the Filipino word for “Freedom”. Kala is a truly incredible and inspiring 12-year-old Filipino girl who is, right now, living out her name.
Three weeks ago, the Unlikely Heroes Outreach Team came to Kala’s rescue. They heroically risked their lives, rescuing her from the hands of traffickers. I was privileged to be able to sit down with Kala soon after she was rescued. She was brave enough to tell me her story, and I would like to share some of it with you.
Sitting and listening to her story, I was heartbroken by her words. She told me that, at the young age of 8, she was being repeatedly raped by her father and other family members. “They would rarely leave me in the house alone, and, when they did, they would tie my hands and feet and leave me naked, so I could not run away.” Her father was also physically abusive (her body is covered in cigarette burns) and starved her (no food or water) for 3-4 day periods. Though family would try and help on occasion, they were too afraid of her drug-addicted father to rescue her or tell the authorities.
Her heartbreaking story continued. “When I was 8, my father sold me to traffickers for money to buy drugs.” Over the next couple of years, her situation deteriorated much further. Her first group of traffickers held her hostage in a house where she was continuously being sold for sex.
While captive, the traffickers would keep her naked and tied up. One day, when she was 10 years old, Kala bravely escaped from her abusers. “I was able to get loose from the ropes, and I found a hammer to break a window and escape. I found a towel to cover myself, and I traveled to my [family member’s] home, because I thought it would be safe.” “I did not know that I was 4 months pregnant when I escaped. So, while living with my [family member], the pregnancy was ended.” Tragically, her safe haven was short-lived as she was soon abducted by another group of traffickers.
Not long after, 11 year old Kala was seen by members of our Outreach Team who then rescued her. After being brought to our home, I was pleased when she participated in our home’s “Healing Week”. Our support team and trained counselors helped her to begin the healing process from all of the trauma she had experienced. I also made sure that she received much needed medical care after her years of abuse and neglect.
Given her story, I knew it would take some time for Kala to feel safe. I was delighted to see that, by the end of her first week at our home, she was beginning to act like an 11 year old girl should: laughing and slowly becoming more at ease within the home and with our team.
Before I left the Philippines, our team and I celebrated her 12th birthday. At the party we threw for her, she wore the new dress and red slippers that we had picked out together. She enjoyed the happiest birthday of her life. She just couldn’t stop smiling!
I recently spoke with Kala, who told me that, when she was first rescued, she didn’t believe that we were there to help her, because it seemed too good to be true. She said to me, “I am so happy now. I just want to be a good girl and go to school.”
Currently, there are millions more trapped in human trafficking just like Kala was. Our mission is to help reverse the crippling impact of sex slavery. Please help us continue to save these young lives just as we have done for Kala. We are confident that, together, we will all become the Heroes who end modern-day slavery.
Founder & CEO