Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Give...To Help Child Victims of Prostitution in Seattle


From the office of Seattle City Council Member Tim Burgess:

A Residential Recovery Program for Prostituted Children in King County
January 2010

There are between 300 and 500 prostituted children in King County today, some as young as 11. Prostituted children are subject to severe physical and psychological abuse from pimps and “johns”. They often experience mental illness and substance abuse problems. Recovery from the resulting trauma requires extensive and highly specialized services provided in a safe setting. There are no services specifically designed for these children today—in Seattle, in King County, or anywhere in the state of Washington. In fact, few such programs exist in the country.

After years of planning, many community partners are coming together to raise money to support a two year pilot program that will house and provide services to approximately 20 youth per year between the ages of 14 and 17. Services will be delivered in a highly structured environment, with activities designed to meet both the individual and collective needs of participants. Specialized prostitution recovery services will be provided including counseling for traumatic stress and trauma recovery, survivor support groups, health education, medical care, life skills training, support for GED or high school completion, help preparing for enrollment in post-secondary education, job readiness training, employment placement and internships. Lastly, participants will be given safety, security and opportunities to have fun, engage in age-appropriate activities and begin to reclaim their youth.
This program will be professionally evaluated to ensure that the services are working to help children heal from the trauma they have experienced, achieve their goals and reach their potential.
The City of Seattle’s Human Services Department will contract with YouthCare, a local 501(c) 3 nonprofit agency located in Seattle, Washington to provide the services. YouthCare has extensive experience as a provider of services to troubled youth.
Our goal is to launch this program in the spring of 2010. To make this dream a reality, please make a tax deductible donation:
Send a check to: City of Seattle Prostituted Children Rescue Fund, c/o Human Services Department, PO Box 34215, Seattle, WA 98124-4215, or
Donate by credit card: Call the City of Seattle’s Treasury Department at (206) 684-3911 and ask that your contribution be deposited in the Prostituted Children Rescue Fund
Thank you for your kind support of this important project.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Seattle Against Slavery+Western Washington Coalition Against Human Trafficking



Are you interested in working with others to plan practical ways to raise awareness of and fight against Human Trafficking in Washington state and around the globe?

On January 11, 2010, Seattle Against Slavery (SAS) and the Western Washington Coalition Against Human Trafficking (WWCAHT) are hosting a joint planning meeting at the University of Washington (see flier for specific location).

The event will include the opportunity to network with other people and organizations working against human trafficking, time for discussion of effective events, and the chance to hear from leaders in the fight against human trafficking in our area.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools


Come hear author and 2009 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Greg Mortenson, discuss his newest book: Stones Into Schools.

When: Tuesday, December 14th at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Seattle Pacific University, Royal Brougham Pavilion, 3414 Third Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98119


Mortenson's previous book, Three Cups of Tea, is an international best-seller and shares the story of his work in Pakistan. Stones Into Schools chronicles his journey of establishing schools for girls in Afghanistan. Education is a key component in the fight against human trafficking. Mortenson and those who work alongside him provide girls with the opportunity to reach their potential and to look forward to a fulfilling future.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

3rd Annual TEE OFF AGAINST TRAFFICKING 2010






MARK YOUR CALENDAR!!

Our 3rd Annual Tee Off Against Trafficking Charity Golf Tournament & Luncheon/Auction (the Live Auction and Luncheon are new and open to non-golfers too) is OFFICIAL!
Saturday, May 22nd at The Golf Club at Echo Falls

Are you in helping or donating to the cause?
Contact us at EastsideWOP@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turning Oppression Into Opportunity


On Monday, December 7 at 7:30 p.m., hear New York Times columnist and author Nicholas Kristof speak on his new book, written with Sheryl WuDunn: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide.

He will be speaking at Overlake School in Redmond (20301 NE 108th ST, Redmond, WA 98053).

$10 suggested donation at the door.

To learn more about the event, visit www.overlake.org

To learn more about Kristof's book, please visit: http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307267146

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Victory Day" Seattle Film Premiere


To celebrate the United Nation's International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, Seattle Against Slavery (SAS) is sponsoring this film's Seattle Premiere on Wednesday, Dec. 2nd at 6:30 pm at the Harvard Exit Theatre. In partnership with the writer/director/star filmmaker, Sean Ramsay, and Western Washington Coalition Against Human Trafficking, you and your friends are invited to attend this premiere.

The price has been lowered to only $15 per person in order to get a great showing from the community for this human trafficking-political thriller.

There will be appetizers at 6:30 pm, and you will get to meet the filmmaker, Sean Ramsay. The panel discussion will not only include your hosts, but also the U.S. Attorney, Ye-Ting Woo, who heads up the trafficking cases locally for the federal government.

Please consider attending, purchasing your tickets early, and promoting for us.

Film & Trailer: http://www.victorydaythefilm.com/

The LA press release: http://la.indymedia.org/news/2009/10/231014.php

Buy Tickets Here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/89999

Facebook Event Page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=186552497688

Ideas to Bring the Heart of Christmas Home

Dear Friends,

This Christmas, join us in bringing the heart of Christmas home by blessing people in your life and around the world with gifts of Life, Opportunity and Hope. You can touch hearts in creative ways with World Concern’s Global Gift Guide. Here are just a few ideas:

Let a young person in your family choose a gift. God may use this experience to shape their heart. When my nephew, Stephen, was in kindergarten, I invited him to choose a gift from the Global Gift Guide. He found the photo of beaming Bangladeshi fishermen hauling a net full of fish into their boat, and his face lit up at the idea of giving someone a fish pond. We filled in the gift order, I wrote the check, and he kept that photo of fishermen by his desk for the next year. Many years later, he loves fishing. And he has a passion for helping people in poverty. He spent last summer working with a poor village in Honduras to start a community library. This year he’s a freshman in the International Relations Program at Tufts University. Who knows whether God used that fish pond in unseen ways to influence the course of his future career?

Challenge the kids at your church. Work with your children’s ministry to grow kids’ hearts for the world by giving them the opportunity to bless someone a world away. Children love to give. Let them set a goal, choose a gift from the Global Gift Guide, and earn or collect money toward the purchase they have selected. They might give ducks by the dozen to a family in need. Or rescue a child from the dangers of trafficking. Or help some children across the world go to school. We even have a free church Global Gift Guide Kit to help you. www.worldconcern.org/churches

Use the Global Gift Guide in your prayer time. It’s colorful and full of human interest stories. While you pray, let a page per day inspire you. In a month you will have prayed around the world.

Use the link below to see World Concern’s Global Gift Guide. It’s jam-packed with ways to honor a loved one, and at the same time enter the life of someone struggling to survive and offer them the opportunity they have been praying for.

http://donate.worldconcern.org//page.redir?target=http%3a%2f%2fwww.worldconcern.org%2fglobalgiftguide%2f+&srcid=15361&srctid=1&erid=436305

We’ll be glad to mail you copies as well. Just email us or give us a call.

Have a blessed holiday season.

Sincerely,

Sarah Leech
Director of Women of Purpose
(206)546-7396
sarahl@worldconcern.org


© COPYRIGHT 2006 WORLD CONCERN, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

An Opportunity to Purchase Freedom Stones

A number of people have asked about opportunities to purchase Freedom Stones, especially with Christmas approaching!

Many of you know about hosting Freedom Stones Parties, but not everyone is able to host or attend those events. Thankfully, a woman from our community has provided an amazing opportunity for Freedom Stones to gain more public recognition and for any community member interested to come view and purchase the jewelry.

On December 5th, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Robert Frost Elementary's PTSA is hosting a Holiday Bazaar. Freedom Stones will have a booth to sell the jewelry, and members of the Freedom Stones Team will be available to answer questions and share about the incredible work the organization does in the lives of those at-risk of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

What: Freedom Stones Jewelry for Sale!

Where: Robert Frost Elementary, Kirkland, WA http://www.lwsd.org/school/frost/Pages/default.aspx

When: December 5, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

For more information or to inquire about hosting a Freedom Stones Party, contact Sally Demos at sally.demos@yahoo.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Serving Girls At-Risk in India

As captured by the Academy Award winning film Born Into Brothels, the children of the Calcutta red-light districts are some of the most stigmatized in their own country. They have little hope of escaping their mothers' fate or creating another type of life.

Buntains’ Calcutta Mission is founded on the work of missionaries Mark and Huldah Buntain, who over 53 years established a vast network of ministries to holistically serve the spiritual and physical needs of others.


On Monday, November 16th at 7:00 pm at Northwest University: HSC104 (Building 18 on this map: http://www.northwestu.edu/tours/images/campus_map.pdf), Huldah Buntain and Amitabh Singh will show part of the film mentioned above and share about their ministry in India. Their ministry includes hospitals and clinics, over 100 rural and city schools, a daily feeding program for more than 25,000 people, and their latest expansion, Hope House, a safe haven for at-risk girls to live and have the chance to fulfill their dreams.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

An Opprotunity to Learn More


More and more people are answering the call to educate their communities about the issue of Human Trafficking. Here is a chance to invite neighbors and friends to join you in learning more.

View a portion of the Call+Response Documentary and hear from people who work locally to fight human trafficking.

When: November 16th, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: All Saints Church; 1716 2nd Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109-2805

For more information, contact: Brynn Nelson at 971.235.6000



For a higher resolution, electronic copy of the poster seen here, email sally.demos@yahoo.com

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Social Entrepreneurship

This semester, Northwest University in Kirkland has been holding lectures on Social Justice and Practice. The next lecture is this Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. in the Health and Sciences Center Lecture Hall (Building #18, Room 104). For a campus map, visit http://www.northwestu.edu/tours/images/campus_map.pdf

Dr. Teresa Gillespie will be sharing Beyond Social Justice: Using Entrepreneurial Principles to Address Social Problems. She will be talking about the characteristics of successful social ventures and why Christians, in particular, should be social entrepreneurs.

You are welcome to join current students for this opportunity to hear how social justice issues can be successfully addressed through the application of business skills.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

IJM Film Screenings

International Justice Mission's (IJM) new film, At the End of Slavery: The Battle for Justice in Our Time, will be shown on the following days at the locations listed below. These screenings are an excellent opportunity for further education and to invite friends to learn more about human trafficking. You can also host a screening as part of IJM's Weekend to End Slavery, November 14th and 15th. For more information, please visit http://www.attheendofslavery.com/.

Screenings Schedule:

November 7th: Wiley Heights Covenant Church (Yakima)
November 14th: Kent Covenant Church and Believers Fellowship (Gig Harbor)
November 15th: Chapel Hill Church (Gig Harbor)
November 16th: All Saints (Seattle)
November 22nd: Bellingham Covenant Church
January 10th: Snohomish Community Church
February 19th: Hidden Creek Community Church (Olympia)

Trailer:

At The End Of Slavery - Extended Trailer from International Justice Mission on Vimeo.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Seattle Against Slavery: Educational Opportunity




Seattle Against Slavery October Meeting
Guests:
Ye-Ting Woo of U.S. Attorney Office-Seattle
Kathleen Morris of International Rescue Committee
Harvey Sloan of Seattle Police Dept. & WA Advisory Committee on Trafficking (WashACT)
When:
Monday, Oct. 5, 2009
6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where:
Two Union Square
51st Floor, Conference Room 5122
601 Union St.
Seattle, WA 98101
For More Information Contact:
Alex Sum alexsum@msn.com

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

International Justice Mission to Be Featured on ABC Nightline and World News

International Justice Mission's work in Cambodia will be featured on ABC Nightline tonight at 11:30 p.m. ET and on ABC World News tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Here is an email sent out by Christa Hayden, Regional Director of Church Mobilization (Mid-Atlantic Region) for IJM:

I am pleased to announce that tonight's ABC Nightline will be dedicated to discussion of child sex tourism - and IJM will be among the groups they feature combating it.

Last month, a team from ABC traveled to Phnom Penh to work in the field with IJM's undercover investigators and field office staff - as well as our extraordinary aftercare partners at Agape Restoration Center (ARC), run by Don and Bridget Brewster. Needless to say, they were impressed with what they saw.

Tonight's show will include coverage of IJM's work in Cambodia, highlighting our efforts to apprehend perpetrators and our dedication to seeing that their victims receive loving and long-term aftercare. We expect that piece to focus on former IJM client, Bella, rescued in 2004 at the age of 13 by our undercover investigators from the infamous Anarchy Building, a center of sex, drug and arms trade in Phnom Penh. While in Phnom Penh, correspondent Dan Harris, along with two award-winning producers, interviewed Bella at ARC - in English! The transformation in her over five years, in great part due to the support she received at Agape from Don and Bridget Brewster and their excellent Cambodian staff, is bound to surprise, move and inspire you.

But that is not all!

ABC World News is also scheduled to air several pieces on child sex tourism and partners in Cambodia during their evening news segments. On Thursday, they will feature IJM's work on the ground in Cambodia, highlighting our collaboration with local law enforcement as well as U.S. Federal authorities.

These are very exciting developments, sure to raise awareness about the great and widespread evil of human trafficking; but also IJM's efforts to combat it. For more information on the ABC programs, please visit their website at
http://abcnews.go.com/nightline

It is my great hope and prayer that these pieces will move viewers to join us in our work, as well as do much to bring freedom to the many vulnerable victims who still wait for freedom.
(Emphases mine)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Now What Do I Do?

Learning about human trafficking can be a disheartening experience. I often find myself immobilized by sadness and a feeling of helplessness in the face of the issue. Knowing that I can make a difference and that amazing people and organizations are doing so already restores my hope. God is at work fighting human trafficking and here is how you, his greatest instrument of change, can join that fight in practical ways.

Educate Yourself:
1) Read websites, books, and articles that will help you learn more. Some suggestions include http://www.ijm.org/, http://www.stopthetraffik.org/, http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/, http://www.worldconcern.org/, http://www.bridgestothenations.org/; Terrify No More (Gary Haugen) and Not for Sale (David Bastone).
2) Host a movie night for friends and neighbors and watch a movie on the issue. Check out Human Trafficking, Not for Sale, or Taken. Trade also provides an accurate portrayal of the issue, though it is slightly more graphic and suitable only for mature audiences.
3) Participate in a local exposure experience. Contact Lynnee@occ.org for details.
4) Bing or Google "Human Trafficking" and start reading.

Advocate for the Cause:
1) Use your gifts as a blogger and writer to help out with this site. Contact eastsidewop@gmail.com. Or, write about the issue on your personal blog.
2) Host a jewelry party with Freedom Stones! Raise awareness and funds for recovering women seeking to support themselves. Contact eastsidewop@gmail.com.
3) Continue tithing and giving. For those who attend OCC, 10% of your tithe goes towards Serve the World (STW) Projects, including supporting those working in this cause. Prayerfully consider how you can craigslist, garage sale, or part-time work your way to a giving goal toward projects that stop human trafficking. Opportunities to give through EWOP and OCC projects are available. Contact Lynnee@occ.org for more information.
4) Start talking to other people. Use our 3 primary fund raisers to invite friends, neighbors, and family to engage in the cause. Sell microloan cards at Christmas, promote Pictures for a Purpose with neighbors, friends, and your kids' school. Ask businesses you frequent to be a sponsor at the Tee Off Against Trafficking Golf Tournament. Use your sphere of influence to make a difference!
5) Book a photo session for your child at Pictures for a Purpose, happening Saturday, October 10. All sitting fees and a percentage of picture sales are donated to prevention and education causes. Or, volunteer to help out with the event. Contact eastsidewop@gmail.com.

Participate in Serving:
1) Make changes in your lifestyle. Use fair trade coffee and chocolate. Find brands that support sustainability and community development in the countries where their products are produced.
2) Invest your time in the serving core of EWOP. Use your gifts and experiences to help. Contact eastsidewop@gmail.com.
3) Volunteer at one of our fundraisers. Be part of the task force team that helps promote and execute the events.
4) Consider going international to see and share about the issue. The 7-day March 2010 trip to Thailand is being planned. Contact Lynnee@occ.org.
5) Prayerfully consider how God might want to use your SHAPE (spiritual gifts, heart [passions], abilities, personality, and experiences) to impact the cause. Need a conversation? Contact Lynnee@occ.org.
6) Pray! God's power is the best tool to fight this issue and His justice prevails. Make it a daily habit to think about the at-risk children and women who are most vulnerable.

Friday, September 11, 2009

One Small Victory for H.R. 2737 - Child Protection Compact Act of 2009

One small victory has been won this week in the FIGHT to END child trafficking.
Last week, a small group of EWOP members joined about 7 other women from the community to urge Congressman Inslee to support and become a cosponsor to HR 2737, the Child Protection Compact Act of 2009 (CPCA).


Summary of the CPCA of 2009
Authorizes the Secretary of State, through the Ambassador, to provide assistance (grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts) for an eligible country with a significant prevalence of trafficking in children that enters into a Child Protection Compact with the United States to support policies and programs to eradicate the trafficking of children.

I think we were all a little nervous about the meeting. We really didn't know what to expect. All we knew is that we would do our very best to give a voice to the children around the world that have been, are at risk of, or have lost their lives and innocence by being trafficked in some way. We shared our stories, photos and hearts in hopes that the representative would choose to cosponsor the bill - and to give these children a voice!

This is one of the images that we shared with Congressman Jay Inslee's Special Assistant, Patrick Hogan. We hoped and prayed that her life and story would be honored...


Just yesterday, we received an email that stated the following:

"Hello,
This is to follow up on our recent meeting here in Congressman Jay Inslee's office in Shoreline. I wanted to let you all know that Congressman Inslee will cosponsor the Child Protection Compact Act of 2009, H.R. 2737.
Congressman Inslee continues to believe that the United States must take an active role in combating the international human trafficking....
Thanks for focusing our attention on it. Congressman Inslee's name should soon appear on the list of cosponsors."

Just another small, but important victory for our FIGHT to END child trafficking.

If you would like to join us in tracking the progress of this bill, click on THIS LINK . You will be able to follow the progress of the bill as it makes its way through different phases of consideration by the House and the Senate.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Child Victims of Human Trafficking in King County Need Your Help!

I recently learned, much to my great disappointment, that funding for a shelter and trauma center for sexually exploited children and youth (MIDD Strategy 17b) has been cut from the 2010 King County budget. Upon further research (primarily thanks to Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center), I learned that under Federal and Washington State Law minors involved in the sex industry are considered victims of human trafficking. An estimated 500 children and youth in King County fall into this category. However, the County's current system does not treat them accordingly. Minors arrested for prostitution are processed through the juvenile court system - treated as criminals instead of victims. This system does not serve the children and youth involved. They do not have the opportunity to receive the care and counseling they most need. After reviewing MIDD Strategy 17b, I feel the plans outlined there DO serve the best interests of those involved.

This is an excellent opportunity to speak out on behalf of sexually exploited children right here where we live!

Please take the time to review Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center's web page devoted to this issue. You will find more information about the issue of human trafficking in King County, a sample letter to a County Official, and contact information for County officials. Also on the page is a link to the actual text of MIDD Strategy 17b. You can make a difference by emailing or calling the representative from your district and the County Executive.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pictures for a Purpose Video

Here is a little video about Pictures for a Purpose using shots from last year. This just briefly explains what we are doing and why. Enjoy!

Many thanks to Joy Williams for the soundtrack.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Benefit Walk


If you're looking for a way to support the movement in STOPPING sex-trafficking (besides our Pictures for a Purpose event) ...

Stop Child Trafficking Now is holding a walk in the Seattle area (Magnuson Park) on Saturday, September 26th to raise money to STOP child sex trafficking.

If you're interesting in joining the fight, visit their website HERE.

Though the Eastside Women of Purpose are not affiliated with this company, we ARE affiliated, passionate and united in the cause to STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pictures For A PURPOSE

Our Eastside Women of Purpose group is having our 2nd Annual Pictures for a Purpose on Saturday, October 10th.

If you're local, go to our WEBSITE and sign up to have your child's picture taken (if you register now, you will receive an Early Bird Discount as well as a prime slot with the photographer of your choice!).

All of the sitting fees and a majority of the cost of prints go directly to STOPPING child trafficking.

Six, amazingly talented local photographers donate their entire day, talent and equipment to this important cause.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Looking to Educate

One of our primary goals is to spread the word about human trafficking. Modern day slavery is a HUGE worldwide problem and is growing by the day. The more people that know, the more we can inspire others to do something to help save lives right here in our state and beyond.

Eastside Women of Purpose is looking for opportunities to share what we've learned about human trafficking with others--including first-hand experiences from the ground in Thailand with amazing photos taken from unbelievable professional photographers in our group. If you would like us to come & do a presentation for your school, youth group, MOPS program, life group etc. we would love to hear from you. Please contact us at EastsideWOP@gmail.com.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Unbound Conference


If you have been wanting to educate yourself on all things Human Trafficking, I have the Conference for you. I encourage you to attend the UNBOUND Conference in Seattle on May 8th and 9th. There will be a number of great speakers and this is the perfect chance to educate yourself on what is going on and how you can help.

SIGN UP TODAY by clicking on THIS LINK.

(Plus, the founder of Women of Purpose, Coleen Grove, is one of the speakers!! :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tee Off eBay Auction is…LIVE!

 

The Eastside Women of Purpose's 2009 "Tee Off Against Trafficking" Online Auction is now LIVE on eBay!
If you aren't a golfer but have been looking for a practical way to get involved with this cause, check it out and place a BID!
We have a TON of AMAZING items this year, and you DON'T want to miss out!

100% of the proceeds go towards the fight to STOP Human Trafficking throughout SE Asia. By slowing trafficking in SE Asia, we drastically reduce the number of children and women trafficked into the US.

Now how is that for smart shopping?!?!

Just click HERE to start BIDDING and CHANGE LIVES!

For more information about our cause, click HERE

(If you win an eBay Auction Item, please consider all money bid over the value of the item tax deductible.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

22yr. old is a mother to Nepali orphans

During a recent blog lurking session I stumbled upon the blog of Maggie Doyne. She runs an orphange in Nepal and she's only 22. I read through some of her posts, and I'm blown away by the selflessness and bravery of this young American girl. You can read about Maggie here and while you're there look around her blog, too.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Another Setback for Afghan Women


We all remember the stories that emerged soon after the Taliban regime in Afghanistan was removed from power. Women forced to wear burqas, unable to leave their homes unless escorted by a male relative. Women denied basic health care, even anesthetic for c-sections. Young girls forbidden to attend school.

Conversely, a photographic essay published a year after US troops came to Afghanistan loudly intimated, "THESE WOMEN ARE NOW FREE." I distinctly remember seeing photographs of Afghan women wearing high heals and makeup in TIME magazine. Somehow, the spikes and eye shadow were supposed to convince the world that equal rights had arrived to the country.

Today's news, then, was nothing short of distressing. Today, a law was passed in Afghanistan that gives husbands express permission to essentially rape their wives. Consent on the part of the wife was deemed unnecessary. Originally crafted to give the Shiite community it's own freedoms and identity, the clause on permissible, state sanctioned rape is drawing international scrutiny.

You can read the article here.

President Obama has called the law "abhorrent." E-mail him here to express your own abhorrence and support of the US governments intense opposition to this law.

Friday, March 6, 2009

H2-africa

water4christmas.com is up and running if you'd like to check it out.

They are selling shirts now too! Shirts (of course) are made in Africa.

Very cool!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Evil in Darfur


I just turned off CNN.


I'm so angry, so outraged, so utterly incensed. I don't know what to do.

The President of Darfur, who was yesterday indicted by the International Criminal Court at the Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity, is throwing all aid agencies out of Sudan. Doctors without Borders, World Vision, the Red Cross, and others have received notification that they are to stop providing food and medical assistance to ANYONE in the country. This means hundreds of thousands of impoverished people have been sentenced to death. Even with the help of these agencies, the crisis in Darfur was staggering at best. There already weren't enough resources and health care to go around. Read the article here.

I watched Darfur's President merrily waving a flag and dancing in front of a mob of people, as he laughed off the war crimes charge and, in retaliation, sentenced hundreds of thousands of Sudanese people to death. A doctor being interviewed said, in a thick voice, tears in her eyes, "We are not political. We are medical. We just want to get back to our patients. They will die. They will die without us."

The only word that makes any sense to describe this scenario is EVIL.

I have no clue what to do. I just e-mailed the President of the United States. It was a short e-mail. It started like this,
"Dear President Obama,

Can you please stop President Al-Bashir. Please. I can't think of anything more important than saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people...... "

Will you join me in praying for justice for these innocent people? Will you e-mail our President? Will you post other ideas about what we can do?

Monday, March 2, 2009

10 CHILD prostitutes in Washington rescued!!

10 child prostitutes in Washington rescued during nationwide sweep by FBI
Police and federal agents have rescued 10 child prostitutes and arrested 35 people in Western Washington as part of a nationwide sweep aimed at curbing the sexual exploitation of children, according to the FBI.

By Mike Carter
Seattle Times staff reporter
Police and federal agents rescued 10 child prostitutes and arrested 35 people in Western Washington as part of a nationwide sweep aimed at curbing the sexual exploitation of children, according to the FBI.
Nationwide, "Operation Cross Country III" last week took 48 child prostitutes into protective custody and police and agents in 29 cities — including Seattle, Everett and Tacoma — arrested 571 people for investigation of state and federal charges involving the domestic trafficking of children for sex.
"We continue to pursue those who exploit our nation's children," said FBI Director Robert Mueller. "We may not be able to return their innocence but we can remove them from this cycle of abuse and violence."
Special Agent Robbie Burroughs of the Seattle office of the FBI said most of those arrested here will face state charges, although three individuals arrested for pimping child prostitutes could face more serious federal charges.
FBI Special Agent Tarna Derby-McCurtain of the bureau's Tacoma office is a member of a newly formed task force in Western Washington aimed at rescuing child prostitutes and prosecuting those who lure them into the lifestyle.
She said the Department of Justice formed the task force here after seeing a trend of both victims and pimps coming from Washington. It met first in Pierce County in 2007 and since has obtained at least three indictments against men accused of luring teenage girls into sexual slavery.
"They go to malls. They're on MySpace," Derby-McCurtain said. "They go wherever young people gather," where they prey on young girls with low self-esteem. "We see both throwaway kids, and kids who are middle-class."
The ones lured into prostitution wind up on the "West Coast track," traveling on a sex circuit that ranges from Vancouver, B.C., to Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Derby-McCurtain said.
She said there's no easy answer to the question of why Western Washington seems to attract both young victims and those who exploit them.
But the data, she said, is clear and the new task force is targeting the problem, emphasizing the arrests of the pimps and getting help for their victims.
On Monday, the state House of Representatives unanimously passed a measure that would create a diversion program for teenagers arrested for the misdemeanors prostitution and prostitution loitering. The bill would allow judges to sentence teens to the program, which focuses on treatment, education and housing instead of incarceration.
Bill sponsor Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle, said that teens can stay in the program for up to one year.

She said that prosecutors will have discretion on who they recommend into the program — teens can have prior convictions and can have spent time in the diversion program before.
"These children truly are victims of some pretty horrific sexual abuse," said Dickerson, who has been working with prosecutors, law enforcement and children's groups on creating the legislation since last summer. "I look at them not as criminals but as victims who need a lot of care and safe housing."
There has not been an announcement on when the measure will be heard before the Senate.
In 2007, a new state law toughened the penalty for adults convicted of forcing juveniles into prostitution.
In the past, suspects accused of coercing underage girls into prostitution were most often charged with first-degree promoting prostitution, also a felony.
Unlike promoting prostitution, anyone convicted of commercial sexual abuse of a minor has to register as a sex offender.


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008778257_kids24m.html

Monday, February 2, 2009

BOOK CLUB

I found this book taking an enormous amount of energy to process. I am overwhelmed with feelings of helplessness about having an impact on this evil that has become so pervasive and systemic. I am especially disturbed about how many mothers have knowingly sacrificed their daughters to this. I do find hope in the way Mam's safehouse has grown and matured so quickly. Eg. The scarves could bring them many more resources and much publicity that could buttress public interest/pressure on the situation.

I think having a 6 year old daughter who was abandoned as a newborn in China brings this closer to home. I have never been able to let myself imagine what would have become of her had she not been adopted, let alone be subjected to this kind of evil. It's impossible to go there.

I find hope in looking at another pervasive, systemic evil that has been perpetrated upon girls for centuries: Female Genital Mutilation, or FGM. A friend's grandmother, a retired missionary who served in East Africa for 40 years once said of FGM when asked if it would ever end, "Yes, when the Lord comes back."

But she was wrong. The tide is definitively turning against this widespread torture. Entire villages that became Christians have given up the practice. Education has worked in many places. Two Ugandan girls that since 2001 I supported the rescue, relocation and education of, just graduated from college as teachers! Simply by virtue of these girls being in the program, their little sisters at home were spared. Christine and Catherine are among many bright young women who will change Africa.

When I first began working against FGM I was shocked to learn how many of my contemporaries had never even heard of this. We can do so much by simply educating everyone in our sphere of influence about child sex trafficking. At times it will be discouraging to find out how many Christians don't care about what occurs beyond their front door, or choose the responsibility-absolving path of disbelief, but many will choose to be God's hands in this. It's our job to find them.

Right after I finished the book and was feeling very discouraged, God gave me this verse (one of those close-your-eyes-and-open-the-Bible kinds of things): "...All their captors hold them fast, refusing to let them go. Yet their Redeemer is strong; the Lord Almighty is His name. He will vigorously defend their cause..." Jeremiah 50:33b-34, NIV.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Princess Project

We're all about spreading the word on companies making a difference.

International Princess Project Vision: Restore hope and dignity to women formerly enslaved to prostitution.

International Princess Project Mission: Establish self-sustaining enterprises in partnership with indigenous organizations that provide for physical, emotional and spiritual needs of women formerly enslaved to prostitution; AND advocate for women enslaved in prostitution around the world.


They sell adorably beautiful pajamas.

And they are made at a rehabilitation facility for women formerly enslaved in prostitution in India.

My friend has a pair ... and loves them.

Loves them because they are beautiful.

Loves them because they help make a difference.

A DIFFERENCE.

Dignity.

Freedom.

Self-Worth.




Check them out HERE.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Our Purpose

I read this today and can't stop thinking about it ...
"Never underestimate the ability of a small group of committed individuals to change the world; indeed they're the only ones who ever have." - Margaret Mead

Sunday, January 25, 2009

300 Voices

We are helping to spread the word for 300 Voices ...

We need 300 people.

300 people to make a commitment to 300 Voices .... Water For All Season.

This will be a commitment of $20/month.

Water For Christmas (WFC) will stay open all year. We get 300 people to commit to $20 a month for 2009 and that's an additional $72,000.

Did you get that?

That is 15 wells.

That's a lot of money ...

As always, 100% of your money goes to charity: water. They use 100& to drill fresh wells and clean water solutions.

But beyond that, the idea is to keep water on our hearts and minds of a 300-person team.

So we will give all year.

We pray, we dream, we plan.

And then in November 2009 we kick off Water For Christmas with a team of 300 that have been serving all year.

Here's how it will work:

water4christmas.com is being developed and will be ready to launch later in the year.

For now, go HERE to sign up. Give us your name and location. We'll start a list of people around the country who are committing to Water. You can do your donations for $5/week, or $20/month, or $240 donation for the whole year. We will not bombard you with emails ... but if you want monthly or weekly reminders to donate we will do that. If you don't do online giving, and would like to mail in checks, you can still do that by making checks payable to Charity Global with Water For Christmas in the memo line. Please mail checks to: Charity Global - 150 Varick St. 5th Floor, New York, NY 10013. We will even send you a set of 12 envelopes if you would prefer to send a monthly donation by mail.

We will have a counter showing how close we are to getting 300 people.

300 Voices.

There is a new blog badge for 300 Voices ... use it if you want.Anyone can join.

Talk about it.

Blog about it.

At this point, all it means is a $20/month commitment. The giving is just to force us to put action behind our causes. And provide clean water for thousands in the process.

Ideally, in November 2009, we have people whose treasure has followed their heart and they are ready to go. We reach 300 times more people with awareness about clean water.

The money is multiplied.

And clean water will erupt from the dirt of Africa's floor.

We will be one voice ... 300 strong ... for clean water ... for life.

So.

You want in?

Go.

Sign up.

For more info, updates and inspiration ... visit Jody's blog HERE.

It looks like Jody may even be able to give us updates personally ... from the ground in Liberia. So we can see how our money is changing and saving lives.

Let's keep it fresh in our hearts and minds.

Even if it's only $20 a month.

Times 300.

Monday, January 19, 2009

BOOK CLUB Part 2

I would love to hear from any of you who have started reading this book by Somaly. I just spent a few minutes in the beginning chapters again, asking myself how a child can be left to fend for themselves. I think most of us would agree we have NO slot for that kind of childhood. And how could she be so easily given to "GRANDFATHER"? She truly was alone and at the mercy of anyone who had remotely looked after her. Did you sense her longing to belong, to be loved, to be a part of a family?

We all were made with that deep need to know we are of value, that someone notices us, puts a plate at the table for us, misses us if we don't show up. It is amazing how wonderful it feels to have someone pat a seat next to them and say, "I saved a seat for you".

How can we do that for people in our lives today? Does someone come to mind that needs you to "Save them a seat", send them an email of appreciation, value their presence in the meeting?

I would love to hear how each of us could take up the challenge to encourage and validate the "Somaly's in our lives".

I am a total culture geek, so I spent a good amount of time looking up subjects like PHNONG, MONDULKIRI PROVINCE, and especially the history of the POI POT'S KHMER ROUGE. There is no way I can express the sorrow I felt walking among the devastation of that regime in Cambodia only two years ago. This history of genocide plays a ferocious part in the mind-set of the Cambodian people. I will never be the same after viewing first-hand the atrocities of this regime.

Please share with us your impressions, your insights, your journey in this book. We all will grow and learn from your honesty.

Blessings to each of you for letting your heart and mind be vulnerable,

Patti

Monday, January 12, 2009

2009 EWOP Book Club


With 2009 upon us, we are hoping many will want to join us in our new Book Club as we educate ourselves on the subject of Human Trafficking. The first book we will read together is one just published in 2008 by Somaly Mam called THE ROAD OF LOST INNOCENCE. (You can order it now by clicking on the link.) It gives a very heart-wrenching account of her life and the struggle to set others free from sexual slavery in Cambodia. I believe this book will be a valuable tool to enable each of us to better understand this injustice. From our readings and discussions, I hope we all can be better informed to explain this cause we have decided to give our hearts and resources towards in making a change.

In the next few days, I will be posting a quote or posing a question concerning this book to start us looking and asking some of the hard questions and ways we can make a difference right where we are.

It is a very powerful story of a Cambodian heroine.

Patti