Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Every 26 Seconds A Child is Sold into Slavery

It has really been on my heart to get involved with an organisation that fights against human trafficking but despite my efforts I had not found one that really stood out. Then I was contacted by Bethany, an advocate for Destiny Rescue (and a cousin of some friends of mine) about promoting Destiny Rescue in the church. I wanted to promote it even wider so I asked her to write this post to raise awareness of the amazing work of Destiny Rescue. So please take the time to read this. I will be revisiting this after Christmas to see what we, as a community can do to help.

Approximately 1.2 million new children are trafficked each year – most of them lured, bribed, or forced into the sex trade. It’s pretty easy to quickly read over that, but let’s go over it again.

Every 26 seconds a new child is sold into slavery.

Approximately 1.2 million little girls have their innocence and childhood stolen each year and in exchange receive sexual, physical, and mental abuse.

Little girls like mine and your daughters, granddaughters, nieces, and maybe even sisters undergo horrific abuse all day, every day.

And that’s just the stats for new kids. There all already millions of other children who have been coerced into the sex industry and are forced to have sex with an adult several times a day. They are trapped and have no way of escape unless people like us decide to stand up and say that this is not ok.

My name’s Bethany. I live in Canberra, I’m one of 13 kids, an evangelical Christian, and a Destiny Rescue advocate. I’m passionate about seeing children’s innocence protected and rescuing and restoring little girls so they know they are more valuable than the Crown Jewels and have a chance to fulfil their dreams.

To perfectly honest, the whole sex trade issue was something I kinda knew about, but because it wasn’t in my face 24/7, I lived as if it didn’t exist. Then a friend of mine went on a Destiny Rescue overseas team trip. She came home and gave a presentation at my church about what she saw. I couldn’t forget it. Then in April I went to a screening of Trade of Innocents, a movie about the sex trade in Cambodia. I now  had a “face” for the sex trade and I couldn’t sit around and do nothing. So I sponsored a 15 year old girl through Destiny Rescue and applied to become an advocate.

So, you’re probably wondering why Destiny Rescue is so amazing. Here’s why. They are a Christian based, non-profit organisation who are dedicated to rescuing children and preventing them from being forced into human trafficking. They work closely with government agencies and international non-government offices to gather valuable information and leads. They see that the criminals are brought to justice and provide a rescue home for all the children they save. Here the children are given medical attention and they receive group therapy and counselling. Here they can feel safe, eat nutritious meals, and receive a valuable education. Destiny Rescue also provides them with training so that once the girls are able they can leave the Rescue Home and provide for themselves in a decent job. They have Destiny Rescue coffee shops and a hair salon which are run by these girls.

Another thing I love about DR is that they don’t just try to fix the problem, but also offer prevention care. They identify children who are in danger of being enslaved and offer their families help in the form of self-sustaining projects.
But most importantly they teach the girls of a God who understand humiliation and suffering and who reaches out to them in love. A God who can give them freedom from the anger and who can redeem their past. I’ve read testimonies of girls who come out of brothels in such deep hurt that anger and torment are their only companions. But yet as God works through Destiny Rescue these girls miraculously find peace and happiness and are able to fulfil their dreams.

Now, I know there many other organisations whose mission is to rescue the sexually exploited, and honestly I can’t say I’m up to speed on all their differences. In the beginning the reason I chose Destiny Rescue was because it was the organisation right in front of me. It could also have been that they have a lot of orange around and that’s my favourite colour. J But now one of the reasons I love Destiny Rescue is that their focus is on children. I know the sex trade, regardless of age, is horrible and disgusting, and I can’t really think of a word that describes the filthiness of it, but children being forced into it make me 500% angry. I mean how dare they think they can take girls as young as 5 years old, and for a sometimes a couple of thousand take away her virginity and innocence. How dare they put a price on someone Jesus died to save. Oh, it makes me angry.
But let’s look at the positives. What can we do to change this?  You can partner with Destiny Rescue and …

1.    Become a 26 seconds member and commit to $40 annually
2.    Become a 26 seconds partner and commit to $26 a month
3.    Sponsor a rescue or prevention child for $45 a month
4.    Give the one-off generous donation of $1500 which will fund the rescue of a child
5.    Go on one of their overseas trips to see their work firsthand
6.    Volunteer and go overseas for up to 2 years to fill a needed position.
7.    Or perfect number 7, you can become an advocate like me and tell your friends and family all about Destiny Rescue and the work they’re doing. I’m currently the only advocate in Canberra (as far as I am aware) and I’d love a few partners.

Other things you can do is purchase jewellery handmade by some of the girls. They are actually phasing this out, so I’d highly recommend jumping on the website and having a look. There is some really beautiful things on there. I also have some jewellery on hand so if you live in Canberra give me a bell and I might be able to arrange to get some to you. They do also have some t-shirts, so if you’d like to get the message out I’d highly recommend it. I have one and it’s really comfortable and you feel awesome wearing it. My Dad also has one and it’s one of his favourite shirts, so it’s a good one for the guys too. :)

http://www.destinyrescue.org/aus/  is the main webpage and has more info. You can buy jewellery and coffee and some shirts here http://www.destinyrescueshop.org.au/ or you can visit http://destinythreads.com/  which is a store that sells t-shirts and has new designs each month.

I don’t feel like I’ve covered everything 100% so if you’d like to know more please contact me and I’ll help you out as much as I can. Otherwise you can contact the Destiny Rescue office and the friendly and lovely people there will be able to tell you everything you’d want to know.

Oh, and one last quick reason why I love Destiny Rescue. Its president and founder is an Australian, but that’s a whole other story. :)

“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it” – Martin Luther King. Jr.

Thanks Bethany!

If you have time also watch this beautiful video from Destiny rescue.

What do you think readers? After Christmas can we raise $1,500 to rescue a child?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for:

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