Between now and October 7, you have the chance to witness Blaise’s remarkable strength and resilience as he shares his story with you. Keep checking back to make sure you don’t miss a segment.
Don’t miss the opportunity to take a virtual trip to some of CVT’s healing centers around the world. See for yourself where hope and healing happen. Sign up today to attend a special Rebuilding Lives Experience.
We want you to see how you make healing possible. Every month we’ll have multiple opportunities for you to join a Rebuilding Lives Experience. Short and free of charge, you’ll hear powerful stories of hope and struggle, and ways to take action. Click here to learn more.
Yonas was a 13 year old boy who lived in Eritrea. Like so many young kids, he loved to play soccer and hang out with his friends. But Yonas wasn’t like most other kids – he was born in a country that makes young boys sign up for forced military service, which is, quite literally, slavery.
So Yonas tried to run away, but he was captured and beaten so badly that the wounds didn’t heal for weeks. He still has scars all over his body today. But eventually he did escape and made his way to a refugee camp in Northern Ethiopia.
And that’s where he found CVT. Yonas was part of an intensive 10 week group therapy program with other young boys who also fled their homes in Eritrea. CVT’s counselors worked with Yonas to remind him that he’s so much more than the trauma he’s been through, and that he’s got a bright future ahead of him. At the end of the 10 week program Yonas said that before CVT he was going to end his life. But after, he feels like he has his life back.
Anan was a young man who grew up in East Africa. He was imprisoned and tortured for speaking out against the government. Shortly after being released from prison, Anan fled and made his way to Atlanta, Georgia to seek asylum and found CVT. The reimagined future Anan dreamed of in the United States was within his reach.
But this all came to a halt when one night Anan was pulled over by the police for having a temporary license plate, and he was arrested. Anan hadn’t committed a crime, and he was in the country legally, but still, he ended up in an immigration detention center.
In a moment of desperation, he put his hands in his pocket and felt a little piece of paper. It was his CVT therapist, Adaobi’s, business card. She was the first person he called. He would tell Adaobi how conditions were horrible, he often didn’t get any food, and he was beginning to have nightmares and flashbacks to his torture. His mental health worsened.
But each time he called CVT, Adaobi picked up the phone. Adaobi was the only one who always picked up the phone –If not for CVT, Anan would have been completely alone. When Anan was finally released, he returned to CVT to begin, once again, dreaming of his future.
Noor’s life was upended in 2011, when the Syrian War began. The peaceful neighborhood she raised her children in was raided all the time and there were soldiers with guns always walking around. Eventually her neighborhood became an active war zone.
Noor and her family would sleep with their clothes on, just in case security forces raided their house at night. She lost all sense of safety, frantically gathering her children in a corner of a house when she would hear the bombs going off. She knew that they had to leave. After many attempts, Noor and her family arrived safely in Jordan. But even though she and her children were physically safe, Noor wasn’t able to leave the past behind her and look ahead to her future.
The war took a part of her – as she describes it, “I got out of the war but the war stayed with me because I left a part of my soul there.” Noor was angry all the time. And she suffered from severe depression. She said she felt “injured with a big wound.”
But then she found CVT. In therapy, she learned exercises to find calm and peace. She met others like her, and realized she wasn’t alone in her pain. Her depression wasn’t as debilitating. Slowly, the big wound started getting smaller.
It will take $25 million to fully fund the mission at CVT this year. $25 million to radically change the lives of over 30,000 torture survivors and their family members. Much of this comes from institutional partnerships and government grants. But in order to close the funding gap, and help survivors know that their past trauma does not define their futures, we rely on generous individual support. The Restoring Hope Breakfast raises nearly 20% of all contributions from individuals. This is where you make your impact.
Restoring Hope Society members have a unique impact in the lives of survivors by making a commitment of support for multiple years. Their generosity enables CVT to realistically plan for the future and say yes to every survivor desperate for a new life.
These sponsors are graciously covering all event expenses. Because of their generosity, every dollar you donate will go directly to supporting healing care for survivors of torture. If your company would like to sponsor this year, contact Laura Kuhlmann.