By Chris Berridge, Justice Partner in the field.
Originally posted at

The air was abuzz with sounds of laughter and joy as over one hundred girls streamed off their buses. For many, this was a rare opportunity to venture outside of the Affection* aftercare home for some different fun. An afternoon of dancing, art, bumper cars, bowling and video games awaited them. Not exactly your typical day.

Every summer, various NGOs host “summer camp” activities for the girls of Affection*. The activities usually fluctuate, but they are always a blast for the girls. And of course, managing all those young girls has its challenges. Finding a place for an outing can be very difficult indeed. Fortunately, a place was found, and the afternoon was set. A massive warehouse of entertainment was exactly what they needed. You have almost certainly been to a place like this, or at least taken your child to one for a birthday party! Maybe they lacked laser-tag, but they made up for it with no lines for all the girls and full, exclusive access. They had the entire place to themselves! It was a dream-come-true for any adolescent child.

The expansive entertainment center filled all 144 girls with awe. According to one staff member from the aftercare home, “(The center) had a mix of everything! The girls could bowl, draw pictures, play games, dance, watch movies, eat or whatever they wanted to do. It was a great change of pace from everyday life at the home.”

If one were to stumble upon the site that day, there was no way to tell that the girls were survivors of commercial sex trafficking. To me, it looked like one hundred something girls, regular girls, just laughing, playing and enjoying themselves. No pretense. No baggage. Just fun.

What an amazing day of vitality and joy.

Again, I want to thank you all for the support you are showing to these amazing survivors. Your love is going a long way.