Teddy Bears and Encouraging Words
Filed Under: Aftercare, Blog, Cambodia, Girls, Restoration
“Mom, do I really deserve love and care?”
The question came softly but hit me like a ton of bricks as I watched this precious girl read the loving note of encouragement she had received in her Teddy Bear Kit. She seemed genuinely astounded that we would consider her to be worthy. She was so happy to hear those beautiful words that she mentioned it over and over again. It was clear that she was struggling to accept that she had inherent value.
If you’ve been a Destiny Rescue supporter for a while, you’ll know a huge amount of our work is focused on the rehabilitation of the children we rescue; getting them out of the sex trade is just the beginning.
Here at Restore Home in Cambodia, many of our girls have been subjected to sexual abuse in their own villages, or have been forced to work as sex workers in the karaoke bars. They’ve been beaten, neglected and sexually abused and often they’ve never been shown kindness, appreciation or love. All this means they often come into our care with low self-esteem, batting with feelings of rejection and worthlessness – just like the beautiful little girl reading the note of encouragement.
However, with the unconditional love and support of our staff, volunteers and the generous people who donate, we’re able to change these girls’ futures and give them the confidence, skills and self-worth they need to live fulfilling, happy lives.
One of the tools the counselors use to assist them are our very popular Teddy Bear Kits.
A Teddy Bear That Brings A Wonderful Gift
Upon arrival to our home, each girl is given her very own Teddy Bear Kit. She receives a teddy bear, pen, book, notepad and a personal, hand-written encouragement note. We read this note to them, translating if necessary. This simple gesture speaks volumes to the girls, as most of them have never had words of kindness or encouragement said to them. For many, this is the first time in their lives that they are told that they are loved, they are worthy and they are wanted.
“Mom, do I really deserve love and care?”
The question spoke of the depth of her pain, and over time it proved to be a statement of hope for her to cling to, as I would see her whispering to herself throughout the day, over and over, “Loved and care… loved and care… loved and care.” This simple note of encouragement proved to be powerful, important and effective in helping her along her journey.
A Safe Place To Share
Along with the note of encouragement, the girls are shown how to use the pen and a special notepad to write down their thoughts and feelings, both positive and negative, then to tuck the note into a little pocket on their bear, close to his heart, keeping their feelings safe until they are ready to share them with their counselors. Many of the girls become very attached to their bears, even choosing to hold them while they share in their counseling sessions.
As they go through the rehabilitation process they’ll remove the negative notes that no longer feel true for them. When the girls are ready to “let go” of hurt they can place that piece of paper in a dish of water and see it dissolve before their eyes, helping them to see the progress they are making and the healing that’s taking place. Eventually we hope that the girls have only positive notes left, showing that they are on the road to full emotional restoration.
As you can imagine the girls love these bears, not just for journalling their feelings but also because it’s a special gift. They really treasure it. Seeing the girls light up with joy when they receive their kits and hear those words of encouragement for the first time is a testament to all the people who work with us to support them by donating time, money or the bears themselves.
But Bears Are Just the Start…
These bears have a great impact on girls in our care but they are just a small part of what we do here at Destiny Rescue. Sadly, not all girls are safe, loved and cared for just yet. There are still so many children out there who are still questioning, “Do I really deserve love and care?”
Will you help us answer that question for them?
Your donations help us bring more children to freedom. Your continued support helps them find restoration and healing.