‘We’re going to have to fight’: Difficult economy impacting Little Warriors

Click to play video: 'Economic downturn hits Little Warriors hard' Economic downturn hits Little Warriors hard
The founder of Little Warriors - which helps children who have been sexually abused - says donations are dwindling and if things don't turn around, kids might lose a safe place to heal. Laurel Gregory explains – Jan 20, 2016

EDMONTON – Fears over the economic downturn are widespread, including with not-for-profit organizations.

Little Warriors offers supports to children who have suffered sexual abuse, but the current economic environment is hampering its efforts.

“We’re going to have to fight like hell to stay alive. I mean that’s the truth,” Glori Meldrum, founder and chair of Little Warriors, said.

Between 2014 and 2015 the group saw a 66 per cent drop in revenue. It started noticing a decline in donations in the summer of 2015.

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

Last year, the organization launched the Be Brave Ranch, a facility outside Edmonton dedicated to helping children between the ages of eight and 12 who have been sexually abused.

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Children stay at the ranch for 28 days, then return every three months for a total of 200 hours of treatment.

“We used to bring in enough money a month that we would cover the amount of kids going through the program. Now we wouldn’t cover enough for one,” Meldrum said.

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

What makes the situation more dire for Little Warriors is it gets no government funding for its ranch, Meldrum said.

She believes governments need to put more of a focus on helping the vulnerable.

“It’s really not been a social agenda at all. You don’t hear a lot of that, and we need to get them thinking about what this market is doing to the vulnerable.”

The majority of Little Warriors’ income is generated from donations, but it does apply for corporate grants whenever applicable. A few fundraising events also raise money for the organization.

Despite the difficult financial situation the organization finds itself in, it’s continuing with efforts to help child sexual abuse survivors.

It’s launched an awareness campaign that highlights how survivors find the courage to overcome their fears.

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It’s also been launched to allow survivors to feel like they can come forward and tell their stories about how they overcame abuse.

“There are other chapters to these stories, ones that are filled with empowerment, support and healing. And that’s what the Be Brave Ranch offers.”

Little Warriors is asking survivors to tell their stories about how they conquered their fears online.

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