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Social Worker Speaks about Helping Children Recover from Abuse

When a child experiences horrific forms of violence and abuse—whether enslaved in a fishing industry or forced to sell her body to men three to four times her age— sometimes the greatest comfort is just knowing she’s not alone.

That’s where people like Jenette come in.

Jenette is one of our IJM social workers in Cebu. She ensures that survivors are not just rescued, but restored.

“I actually wanted to be a school teacher and travel the world. Teacher, in a sense, because I believe that when you educate people—when you educate kids—they will have an understanding of what’s really the truth, what’s really happening in the reality of the world,” Jenette said.

“They never run out of questions. But that’s what I love about them—they always have this curiosity. I believe when you want to educate, you start with children. You teach them. Even at a very young age. Because you will actually be planting seeds. Because children are the future of this place, of this world.”

She wanted to be a part of shaping their understanding of the world around them, helping them make sense of their reality. That’s what brought her to IJM. When a child’s reality is shattered by horrific abuse, Jenette helps them piece it back together.

Sometimes this means simply playing with them, admiring their artwork as they draw and paint. And sometimes this means preparing them for interviews or helping them cope with intense feelings as they come up.

“It’s a big responsibility, but a fulfilling one.”

“In helping rescue these children, guiding them, supporting them in their healing process, I am always hopeful. I am inspired when I am working with rescue teams and know that there’s actually a bright future ahead of them…”

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