by MorinvilleNews Staff
Morinville – Little Warriors announced Thursday its dream of creating Canada’s first long-term treatment centre for victims of child sexual abuse has come true with the purchase of the property that will become the Be Brave Ranch by Ray LaBonte and Family. It is set to open in the summer of 2014.
“This has been a dream of ours for so long; I can’t believe this day is here,” said Glori Meldrum, founder and chair of Little Warriors in a release Thursday. “We’ve had a difficult road, but we built it. Everyday Albertans built it for little Albertans. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to each and every person for your love and support. It means the world to me and to our little warriors.”
Morinville resident and Little Warriors advocate Brandi, whose last name is being withheld to protect the identity of her daughter who is a victim of child sex abuse, was pleased with the news. “It was an emotional and amazing day,” Brandi said, adding she felt it was a victory to see Little Warriors be able to purchase a ranch outright solely from the donations and fundraising of everyday Albertans. “I was honoured to be able to speak and outline what this ranch will mean to kids like my daughter and countless other survivors of child sexual abuse. This ranch will afford my daughter the opportunity to heal, find love and acceptance and learn the tools she will need to cope with and deal with the extreme trauma that results from this awful crime.” Brandi went on to say she was touched to see the generosity of Albertans coming forward to sponsor various facets of the ranch from the homes children will live in during the onsite therapies to the therapy for the first few kids that will attend.
For Brandi and others involved with the organization the realization of the Be Brave dream means children will be able to find the healing not afforded through the traditional route of weekly or monthly counseling sessions that has been Brandi’s only option to date. “My daughter will get the opportunity to live at the ranch for a month of inpatient treatment to receive specific, intensive and specialized treatment,” she said. “After that her therapy will continue on an outpatient basis for a year. This treatment will utilize the most cutting edge therapies being used all over the world in a program developed at the university of Alberta.”
Brandi said she appreciated Danielle Smith taking her speech and reading part of it in the Legislature Thursday. “It was heartwarming to witness a politician’s human side, tearing up over my daughters struggle and offering to help the cause yet again on a public scale and privately as well,” she said.
With the facility purchased, Little Warriors will now move on to Phase 2 of the project, renovating and repurposing the existing facility. They are currently looking to raise an additional $5 million to move into Phase 3 and fund operations for trials. They are planning to open the ranch in June of 2014 for two years of trials, a period during which they intent to treat more than 100 children per year.