Children of the Night is an organization that rescues children from prostitution. (You can read about the organization here.)
There is a group that goes in once a week with a new creative activity to help the children/teens.
I totally believe in using creativity for good, and I think it really can do a lot of good. So, I was in to go help out and see what this was all about.
When we got there, we all met on the sidewalk. We all gathered as a group 1st so that people wouldn’t need to be buzzed in to the building one by one. Everyone was super nice.
Once we went in to the lobby, we signed in and there was a little speech given about the rules before we were let into another layer of restricted area (the one where we met the girls). The rules were basically:
No photos inside, since you never know who’s looking to kidnap these girls back.
No touching unless it’s initiated by one of the girls – no hugs, no high-fives, no handshakes, no nothing unless she initiates it.
No talking of the past. They’re here to move on. So, we wanted to stay away from the past. We were told that if one of the girls brings up her past, we can talk about it with her, as we don’t want to shut anyone down. But we were not to bring it up.
At the beginning of the night, we played an icebreaker game. One of the group leaders had printed off innocent would-you-rather questions he found online. Each person around the circle would be given a different question.
One was “would you rather be able to change the past, or be able to see the future?” As soon as he started reading “change the past,” I felt this sense of “Uh oh. Didn’t we just hear these rules?” I know he did it on accident, but you could feel the tension on the volunteer side of the table as the girls erupted into opinions. It was definitely the most talked about question of the night.
Ultimately, the girl who answered said she would not change the past because she loves who she is, and she doesn’t know whom she’d be if she’d had a different past.
I thought that was an incredibly… I don’t even know what word I’m looking for. I don’t want to say grown-up answer because I don’t want to sound patronizing to her (or make it sound like grown-ups have it together). But it just seemed very self-aware and kind to herself.
And this is where we’ll pick up next time.