Disabled Girl Who Was Abused In Order To Make More Money While Begging In Philippines, Until She Was Finally Saved
A severely disabled Filipino girl has been given a new life, after years of being forced to beg on the streets soon after her mother sold her to a drugs gang.
The girl, only known as Anabelle, would be beaten by her slavers to make her cry so as to evoke empathy from passersby in Bacolod city on the northwest coast of Negros Island in the Philippines.
Anabelle, seven, was finally rescued by a charity aged five, where a tenderhearted volunteer made it his mission to pay for her to have surgery.
Anabelle suffers from the rare genetic condition Crouzon Syndrome, also called congenital craniofacial dysostosis.
It causes premature fusion of the skull bones, leading to malformations of face and is characterised by protruding eyes.
Her mother could not care for Anabelle and her six siblings so she sold the little girl to a drugs gang, who took advantage of Anabelle’s appearance.
On the streets she was accompanied by a woman who pretended to be her mother, and they would both be who would be beaten constantly by the gang before being sent out to beg for money.
The pair were moved from one city to another by traffickers to prevent police from locating them.
She was finally taken in by Kalipay Negrense Foundation, an organisation who rescues Filipino children caught up in trafficking and exploitation.
There, her story touched the heart of visiting volunteer Gonzalo Erize from Argentina, who pledged his own savings and helped raised money for Anabelle to have surgery.
Mr Erize said: ‘The people in charge of his care told me that she woke up at night, shouting from the nightmares from the past.
‘But I was there ready to give Anabelle the opportunity of a better life, where she could play without pain and live worthily.’
Anabelle was treated by paediatricians, dentists and neurologists in the Philippine capital of Manila, who decided she needed urgent surgery.
It became clear that Anabelle was incapable to close her eyes in order to sleep, which left her constantly exhausted.
Mr Erize flew from his home in Argentina so he could be with her while she went through the operation.
He said: ‘I stood by her during the whole process. It was a complicated process, a very delicate situation, in which the passing of time was a constant threat.
‘But again all the effort was worth it. Anabelle came out successfully from cranial surgery, resulting in the brain being able to grow.
‘It was completely cured and today she knows the meaning of enjoying, of having fun, of living.’