Bakhita Mountain Home is a residential community for women who have been freed from human trafficking and wish to be healed from the trauma they have experienced, gain self-sufficiency and successfully reintegrate into society as healthy and productive members. Initial plans involve a home well-suited to meet the needs of 5 women aged 18 or older. It provides sufficient space for safety, privacy, community building, therapy, exercise, cooking, dining and leisure activities together with opportunities for reflection and experiencing the beauty of nature. Women experience healing through three components:
When a group of women in Colorado Springs, Colorado became aware of human sex trafficking in their area, they could not remain passive. They were an ecumenical group: Benedictine and Franciscan Sisters, lay women and female survivors of sex trafficking.
Motivated by their Christian faith, they began to meet in 2018 to discern how they could provide therapeutic resources for women survivors of human trafficking. They decided these resources needed to be residential and suitable for women age 18 and older. They envisioned a home named in honor of the patron of those trafficked for sex. It would be called Bakhita Mountain Home.
Because human trafficking persons are exploited through force, fraud or coercion to perform commercial sex, Bakhita Mountain Home would provide opportunities for them heal and become empowered.
At this time, plans involve a home well-suited to meet the needs of five women. It will provide safe and sufficient space for privacy, community building, therapy, exercise, cooking, dining and gardening. It will enable leisure activities, reflection and communing with nature.
Bakhita Mountain Home is named after Saint Josephine Bakhita who was born in 1869 in Sudan. As a child, she was sold into the slave market of Sudan where she endured untold hardship and suffering.
The trauma she experienced while in the slave trade led her to forget the name she was given by her parents. Bakhita, which means “Fortunate One”, was the name given to her by her kidnappers. Several years later, after being freed, she was baptized and given the name, “Josephine.” In 1893 Josephine joined the Canossian Sisters in Italy. She died in the year 1947 and was recognized as a saint of the Catholic Church in the year 2000. Her feast is celebrated on February 8th. Saint Josephine Bakhita is the patroness of all who are trapped in the slavery of human trafficking.
Bakhita Mountain Home is part of a nationwide network of sister organizations whose program model is based on that of Thistle Farms. The very successful Thistle Farms model was designed in Nashville, TN, over 20 years ago. The network strives to:
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