Oasis and La Arquilla


Oasis and La Arquilla

This remarkable programme cares for young girls who have been victims of the worst cases of sexual abuse and have been referred to us by the local courts. We provide love, support, trauma informed care, as well as pursuing justice against the perpetrators through our team of lawyers. Oasis is our holistic residential care centre and "La Arquilla" is our specialised programme within Oasis that cares for young mothers.

Oasis and La Arquilla are havens of safety for young victims of sexual violence, referred to us by the courts and social services system. Our girls live in family-style homes and receive trauma care and counselling involving proven neuroscientific approaches, as well as emotional support and a comprehensive education programme, working with local schools. We have a multidisciplinary team of lawyers, psychologists, social workers, and teachers, with our programmes exceeding all government standards.

Many of the victims are girls as young as 5-14 years old, with some finding themselves pregnant due to sexual violence. La Arquilla ("basket" in Spanish) serves these precious girls and their babies. We aim to provide a safe haven for these girls and their children - to help them heal, provide them with a loving home, an education and parenting skills and to protect them from the evils of oppressive poverty and abuse.

As well as a lot of love, girls receive trauma counselling, sometimes involving sophisticated neuroscientific techniques.  

Some of the girls arrive with just their clothes on their back, so we provide them with clothing and supplies.  

Some of the girls come to us as young as five years old. Absolutely heart-breaking.

We provide all of the girls with trauma care, life skills, and legal assistance during our time of temporary custody. We train and encourage the girls who desire to keep their babies as they learn how to be mothers, and we also support those who decide to place their babies for adoption.

Another key part of our work is to ensure that the abusers are brought to justice. We work closely with authorities and lawyers and, above all, we work closely with the girls as they go through what can be quite a traumatic legal process.

Most of the girls stay with us for about 12-18 months, during which time we work hard to reintegrate them back into their family if safe to do so, or with a foster family.

This is some of the most difficult and yet rewarding work we do, so please support us with your prayers, especially for our staff on the front line. 

Oasis and La Arquilla: A story of hope

Briselda and Amalia (names changed to protect privacy)

Our work in Guatemala brings us face to face with stories of terrible trauma and pain, and sisters Briselda and Amalia were no exception. When they were young, their mother left them unattended while she worked, and several local men took notice and began abusing them.

Eventually they were taken to a children’s home, but the trauma of their experiences led them to act out through tantrums and manipulative behaviours. The home knew about our work and asked for help. A transfer was arranged and a judge ordered that they be moved to Oasis for specialised care.

We knew the road ahead would be hard, but we committed to giving them the acceptance and tools they needed to begin to heal.

What a difference in their lives today! They have both successfully advanced in their schooling, learned to tackle hardships, and overcome their past traumas. It’s also a joy for us to see a change in their mother, as she realised the devastation done in their family. Our staff worked with her to rebuild her life and then build a healthy home environment.

Seeing Briselda and Amalia finally reunited with their mother was a beautiful gift. 

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