KAIROS Youth and Family Services and Charis Ranch unite in the battle against commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) and sex trafficking with a new youth program for girls. Amy's House is a program unlike any other in that it is about healing teenage girls that have been rescued from sex slavery and human trafficking while also healing unwanted and abused horses. The ultimate goal is to graduate the girls into society and the horses into adoptive homes.
Sex trafficking is believed to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries, and it is estimated that over 100,000 children are victims of sex trade each year. In addition to that, more than 100,000 horses are believed to be abused and surrendered to rescues each year. There is no better program than that which uses the spirit of the horse to recapture the spirit of a young girl, and in turn, both are healed and able to return to a normally functioning and positive life.
KAIROS is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that was registered in Colorado about two years ago and is "committed to assisting children often forgotten by society." Charis Ranch was developed into a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation in the mid-nineties, "for horse rescue and equine therapy." What they describe as "God driven," is the opportunity they have found to combine the two organizations for a program that benefits so many in need. Bill Cremen, Chief Operating Officer says, "This is a beautiful blend between the two charities. Combining the two, we now have rescued horses saving kids."
Loren Fardulis, Chief Executive Officer, describes this as a 24 month treatment program that is 24/7 and 365 days a year. The girls are provided with shelter, food, clothing, recreation, health and fitness, rules and consequences and therapy. The girls, who receive assessments and evaluations, will undergo group therapy, behavior modification, individual treatment and equine therapy.
There is also the very important educational aspect of the program. The girls will receive the formal state mandated curriculum for teenagers, life skills, workability training, experience, outdoor adventure and leadership.
This is all designed to allow the girls to graduate from the program and move into an aftercare program which is built to accommodate emancipation as an adult or placement into a safe home. As Mr. Fardulis states, "these girls will not only have their spiritual, mental and physical beings healed, but will also have the power to be able to go out and live life again, be productive citizens. They will have support from us for the rest of their lives; we will not let them down."
With the Equine Pet-Facilitated Therapy Program, created by Charis Ranch, the girls will find both physical and psychological benefits in their healing. Physically, the horses help with the girls' balance, conditions muscles they have never used before and more. Psychologically, horses are large and intimidating animals, because of this, the first thing the girls will experience is fear. This is transitional for them in that fear is something they are familiar with, but now they can experience fear in a way that takes their life experiences and relates it to the horse.
Horses will provide these girls with unconditional love; the horses relate to how the kids have been treated and are not mean by nature. The girls will learn the difference between punishment (all about the person giving it) and discipline (teaching without hurting). They will have to relearn behaviors and look at past belief systems. This is same for the horses; they will learn that they no longer need to run from their humans, but instead find comfort in them.
Learning communication will be huge for these girls. How they normally communicate with others may not work, especially with horses. They have to learn how to communicate with horses in a way that the horse understands, a non-violent way, or the horse won't be responsive. The girls have plenty of experience getting mixed messages from adults and can learn how to translate their way of communicating with horses to more successfully communicating with people. Mr. Cremen says, "This is all about baby steps, successive approximation, building confidence and developing self-esteem. Getting the kids to the point where they feel good about themselves and begin to build a bond with the animal and build trust."
The girls will be expected to groom the horses, help with veterinary visits, muck stalls, clean saddles and really learn how to take care of these animals, which directly correlates into taking care of themselves and the people around them. From years of experience, Mr. Cremen knows that horses are the perfect tool for this type of healing, "much of the bad behaviors will come out around the horses, but the horses can handle this. The girls will take all these experiences and bring them back into the house and learn how to communicate with each other."
Both organizations have a committed, trained and dynamic staff but they also need help from the community in the form of volunteers, monetary donations and in-kind donations. They need educated horse people to volunteer their time and train the horses so that they can be used in the program. They need people with specialties that can share wisdom with the girls and women that have overcome challenges that can give messages to them. For other volunteer opportunities, please visit their website. In-kind donations are always needed. You can donate everything from tack and hay, to clothes, furniture and kitchenware. The costs for offering this type of program are large; you can go online to their website and become a monthly contributor or even make a one-time donation.
To learn more about KAIROS, please visit their website at http://kairosyfs.org/ and follow their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/kairosyfs). You can also contact Bill Cremen directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 707-227-2637. To learn more about Charis Ranch, please visit their website at http://www.newlifehorses.org/ and follow their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/newlifehorses?ref=ts&fref=ts). In addition to Amy's House, Charis Ranch will continue to serve the community with its outreach programs.
KAIROS Youth and Family Services and Charis Ranch are two very worthy organizations that need support from the community. Please keep in mind that Amy's House is a type of program with confidentiality concerns. You need to go through the appropriate channels, respect confidentiality and respect the girls and the administration to have access.