Guatemala (MNN) — Child sexual abuse is rampant in Guatemala. It can start at an early age and continue on into the teen years and beyond.
Kids Alive International is rescuing these girls and getting them involved in The Oasis, a girls’ home for the sexually and physically abused.
Guatemala Country Director Corbey Dukes says Kids Alive rescues young girls out of sexually abusive situations. Just this week they rescued the 11-year-old sister of one of their residents. "If one girl is being sexually abused, the sister is being abused as well. So we actually won a court order, we obtained an order to rescue her as well."
Kids Alive has to use the system to make this happen. "We don't have our own rescue teams, so we basically have to be the squeaky wheel, the annoying people. Our social worker [kept going back to authorities over and over], and finally they rescued this girl."
The Oasis uses redemption, justice, and reconciliation as the three most important words in their work. And the Gospel is interwoven into everything that they do, says Dukes. "There's not separation of the Gospel in anything that we do. When girls arrive they are prayed for. We don't force girls to participate, but they are in the house for devotionals, they're in our Wednesday night worship services on campus, and they go to church with us."
He adds, "It's part of our healing process. It's part of our therapy. It's part of our social work. It's a part of everything we do. It's regular for the girls to come to a relationship with Christ."
This 11-year-old girl needs a sponsor. "She comes in without any sponsors. We don't bring girls in with sponsors. It's an act of faith on our part that we'll have the resources to minister to this child."
It costs $39 a month to help this girl, as well as other children in need.
Kids Alive is gearing up to open a home for pregnant girls–girls who are sexually abused and are expecting a child. Initially they need $11,000 to begin the program. Once it's started, they'll need $97,000 to build a separate home for these girls.
If you'd like to begin supporting children in The Oasis, click here.