After her mom and dad died within one year of each other, Anisha became an orphan at the age of eight years old.
She was sent to live with her uncle in a small city outside Bangalore, India. Already devastated by the loss of her parents, Anisha found herself in a terrible situation. Her uncle was an alcoholic and made her beg for money on the streets. If she didn’t bring home 500 rupees per day (about $9), she was beaten.
Her greatest desire was to go to school, but instead she began working as a maid. At age 15, desperate to get away from her abusive uncle, she ran away to a large city. She was approached by two women who seemed sympathetic to her situation and offered her a job as a housekeeper. When she met them the next day to begin her job, she was taken to a brothel and sold for $450. At the brothel, she was forced to live in appalling conditions and raped by multiple men each day.
Undoubtedly, one of the most destructive social justice issues in our world today is human trafficking. Next to the dealing of arms and drugs, it is the most profitable criminal industry in the world, generating an estimated $7-10 billion each year.
Experts estimate there are at least 2.4 million people trapped in sex trafficking each year. Twenty percent of them are children, some as young as four or five years old.
Poverty is a foundational reason for human trafficking. In pursuit of a better standard of living, rural villagers have migrated to urban areas in unprecedented numbers. Far from their “roots,” the people of these migrant communities are particularly vulnerable to exploitation.
Girls are sometimes sold into sexual slavery by their own parents to work off family debts. Young women like Anisha are often tricked into prostitution with promises of legitimate work or kidnapped and forcibly enslaved. Trafficking victims are frequently beaten, raped, and confined against their will.
In addition to the devastating emotional impact, forced prostitution often leads to serious health problems such as HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, and malnutrition. After being rescued, many victims find it nearly impossible to trust anyone. Initially, they often lack motivation for school or work, suffer severe depression and feelings of worthlessness, and struggle to reintegrate into normal society. Their rehabilitation is often long and difficult.
Partners International is working with a number of bold, passionate Christian ministries who are fighting both the causes and effects of human trafficking.
For example, in India, where the trafficking problem is severe, our partner is conducting raids of brothels and providing safe shelter, health care, vocational training, and counseling to trafficked women and girls. In Bangladesh, our partner is working directly in the slums of Dhaka to provide education, health training, and trafficking awareness to women and girls in high-risk areas. In Kyrgyzstan, our partner operates a women’s shelter that cares for trafficked women, victims of domestic violence, and girls who have escaped forced marriages.
Because our partners’ funding is limited, the number of women and girls they can help is limited as well, even though they personally know more victims in need.
We have an immediate need to raise $107,800 for social justice ministry projects. In addition to assisting trafficking victims, our Social Justice Initiative includes providing vocational training and micro-loans to widows and poor women so that they can generate income for their families. Bringing love-starved disabled children out of the prisons of their own homes into centers where they receive therapy, education, and health care. Assisting drought-stricken communities to dig clean water wells. Supplying medicine and medical care to families isolated from health services. And much more.
Because of donors like you and God’s amazing grace, Anisha’s story doesn’t end at the brothel. When Anisha was finally rescued in a raid, our partner gave her safe shelter, vocational training, and counseling, and today she is like a different person.
“My life has changed,” Anisha said. “I have become more confident. Learning I am special and unique helped me find my identity and sense of self worth. I learned how to care for myself. I have learned to read and write—my dream! I am grateful to God for giving me a hope and a future.”
Many organizations are focused on social justice issues. But our strengths are our personal relationships with indigenous, Christian leaders on the ground and our decades of experience forming successful, transformational partnerships. Because of their language and cultural background, our partners have a distinct advantage in understanding local needs and implementing successful strategies. This is especially important when taking on deeply-rooted and destructive social practices.
We also believe our partners are uniquely equipped by God with the vision, courage, and insight needed to transform the hard places of the world with Kingdom values.
We hope you will join our efforts so that the least reached people of the world will know justice, and ultimately the love and mercy of Christ.
P.S. Human trafficking, poverty, and injustice are devastating the lives of millions of people around the world. Put your resources to work through local Christians who have the expertise and connections to really make a difference.
P.P.S. Your gift of $60 provides counseling and medical care for a trafficked woman; $90 allows an at-risk girl to attend an education and awareness program; $200 provides a starter loan to help a poor woman generate income through small business. With your gift of any amount, you allow the grace of Jesus Christ to shine bright in the world’s darkest places.
|< Prev||Next >|