Every survivor is precious. Still, we are especially joyful when we are able to bring child survivors to safety. Now that Snowy and her brothers and sisters are safe, we wanted to give you an update about another dear little one we rescued, *Oceana.
We rescued Oceana last year when she was just 6 years old. She had been begging on the streets in Western Europe for two years. Needless to say, she was in bad shape when we found her. Our team quickly set up appointments for her with dentists, counselors, and doctors at a hospital in her home country. When they went to pick her up and take her to these appointments, Oceana’s eyes were big. She was clutching a magazine and a little cookie.
“What are those you’re holding,” our director, Beni, asked her kindly.
Oceana could barely speak. Very quietly, she told him, “these are a gift for you.”
After everything this little girl had been through, her first thought was to bring a gift for our team. It’s humbling to consider! Beni accepted her gift and thanked her seriously.
Oceana has been living with a loving family in her homeland ever since. Now 7 years old, she’s making good progress. Just a couple of weeks ago, she started school for the first time ever! On her second day of school she woke at 5 am and went into her mom’s room while carrying her clothes. “School, let’s go!” she exclaimed to her groggy host mom. Clearly, Oceana is overjoyed to be a kid again, playing and learning with other children.
Her road to healing remains long. She still suffers from some serious health issues due to the trauma she experienced. When we met her, she scarcely knew how to talk. Her verbal skills are growing every day, but she’s still catching up to other children her age. We’re going to be there every step of the way, making sure she gets the support and services she needs.
Oceana’s transformation is only possible because of your support. Your commitment to Uncaged allows us to locate children like Oceana, get them the care they need, and journey with them on the long road to healing.
When we played Oceana songs in the car on the way to her host family, the word she repeated over and over again was “happiness.” Thank you for giving happiness to children and survivors like Oceana.