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‘The biggest thing that I see with the kids is hope’: Be Brave Ranch to celebrate first group of graduates

EDMONTON — A ranch outside Edmonton dedicated to helping children who have been sexually abused is celebrating its first group of graduates.

Six children will graduate next week from the one-of-a-kind program at the Little Warriors Be Brave Ranch. This is the first group of children set to graduate since the facility opened its doors last year.

READ MORE: ‘It really is honestly a dream come true’: Little Warriors founder on opening of Be Brave Ranch

The Be Brave Ranch is for survivors of sexual abuse between the age of eight and 12. Kids stay at the ranch for 28 days, then return every three months for a total of 200 hours of treatment.

Treatment includes conventional psychological therapy, combined with art, music, yoga and play therapies. So far, staff have recorded reduced levels of aggression and shame in the children, as well as increased attachment.

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“You can actually see in the eyes of a child, when they are melting into the safety net of the ranch,” said Dr. Jacqui Linder, clinical director at the ranch.

“The child learns to trust a little more, which is very, very exciting because one of the defining features of child sexual abuse is the child is taught to trust nobody and tell nobody.”

Little Warriors founder Glori Meldrum said the past year has been amazing, and it’s incredible to see the changes the kids experience as they go through their journey at the ranch.

“The biggest thing that I see with the kids is hope,” said Meldrum.

“They’re so excited that there’s a place for them and that so many people love them.”

Meldrum feels the ranch could have prevented decades of suffering, after her own trauma from sexual abuse.

“There was no road map for me. I really believe that this is a road map for kids and their family to get better,” she said.

Next week, each young graduate will receive a special walking stick to support them in the rest of their journey.

Since it opened one year ago, 40 kids from across Canada have entered the program at the Be Brave Ranch.

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It costs about $25,000 for one child and a family member to attend the ranch, which is only covered by private donations. Little Warriors has a fundraiser coming up on Nov. 7. For more information visit the event’s Facebook Page.

With files from Su-Ling Goh, Global News. 

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