In our society today, many children are facing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. They simply grow up, not being raised as they deserve, such, that even if they are taken in by loving caregivers, their hearts need healing.
Addressing the plight of these children, RiverCross officially became a ministry of TWR (Trans World Radio) in January 2015. The relationship with TWR has given Rivercross access to 371 global staff, 230 languages, and 2000 broadcast outlets, to use audio drama to help train caregivers of sexually exploited children in Africa and beyond.
Cindy Finley, the Global Ministry Director for RiverCross, says the ministry builds bridges of hope for the world's vulnerable children, helping them to go from unwanted and alone to feeling treasured. “Our strategy to bring healing to traumatised, vulnerable children are a two-fold approach,” says Cindy. Holding Esther, an audio drama series, was developed as a pilot project to train orphan caregivers in Zambia on how to protect children from further abuse and facilitate their healing. Caregivers in these communities usualy are extended family, local church members, or even local women in the community; adults who often do not know how to help children cope with the trauma they endured. Holding Esther equips caregivers with biblical trauma healing.
For an effective production, RiverCross brought together a team of experts in child development, human trafficking, trauma care and related fields to guide the development of the drama and assure the validity and effectiveness of its message. “We already know of perpetrators arrested because of Holding Esther, and instances of healing in Zambian communities have taken place,” Cindy said.
Another audio drama series, Jabota Bridge, that speaks directly to the children, is currently in the production phase. Cindy explains the way forward: “We are starting with eight pilot episodes of the series Jabota Bridge, which will be field tested this year and we intend to produce more than 150 episodes for the children to listen to on radio, the internet or solar-powered MP3 players.”
STATISTICS TO CONSIDER
See reports of high proportions of South African children victimised by violence on https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-05-28-child-victims-of-violence-the-stories-behind-sas-child-abuse-statistics/.