Lily was just two years old when armed police charged into her house and took her away from her mother. They were hiding together in a small closet, Lily was naked and clinging to her mother crying. Lily was taken away and her mother was sentenced to life in prison she had been sexually abusing Lily and live-streaming it by webcam to paying paedophiles from around the world.
Cases like Lily's are becoming increasingly common in the Philippines. Some children even younger than Lily are being exploited online to make money for their parents/guardians. Most of them far too young to understand what is happening and how wrong it is. The combination of extreme poverty and widespread access to the internet has led to a shocking rise in the online sexual exploitation of children - now a booming industry.
BuildAid has been working in the Philippines for 3 years on various child welfare projects and our biggest project so far has been The Ranch, on the island of Cebu. This is a purpose-built rural shelter run by local NGO, Cure Foundation, and is for young girls rescued from online sexual exploitation. These girls range from 2-13 years old and have all been rescued from sexually abusive situations like Lily's.
The Ranch is the only shelter of its kind in the Philippines. The girls are monitored 24/7, they have a visiting psychologist, dedicated social workers, a tailored educational programme and they live in a family-style setting. Each cottage-style building on the ranch has a bedroom for 10 girls, an adjacent bedroom for their two house parents, a kitchen and a study/play area. Rescue operations have reached an all-time high around the country and despite our ongoing construction, at the current rate of girls being rescued, the rural shelter is set to reach full capacity in just 6 months. We have launched this appeal to raise the funds for the next cottage in the hope that construction can start at the end of September.
We're asking for help to fund the construction of this building as a matter of urgency, so please share this page with all your contacts. We are aware that charity appeals are everywhere and that the default reaction is to ignore them, understandably. But please don't ignore this one, we are a very small charity and we are happy to answer any of your questions or concerns. We're not Children in Need or Oxfam, you won't see us on TV or in magazines, we're much smaller than that and we never spend anything on marketing. We were set up by a father-son team of construction professionals who genuinely wanted to make a difference in the world and we've stayed true to that ethos for 13 years.
Our target figure is the full cost of constructing a 10-bed cottage on the Ranch, directly quoted from our trusted building contractor. We have not added our costs or admin fees, every penny goes to the cause. We're very lucky to have on-site partners as hardworking and dedicated as Cure Foundation that make this happen.
The only deduction from your donation is the JustGiving fee of 5%, if you wish to avoid this:
- PLEASE SEND A TEXT DONATION: Text RESC18 £(your amount) to 70070
- VISIT OUR FACEBOOK FUNDRAISER AND DONATE: Donate through Facebook
Thank you so much for everyone's help with this project and ongoing support. We've already changed the lives of these girls in desperate need and we look forward to continuing.
Any questions, please contact Katie Muir on firstname.lastname@example.org