NOW SAFE AND FREE
During the COVID-19 lockdown in India, 16-year-old Diya fell in love with an older man by talking to him over the phone. When the lockdown ended, they made plans to spend a day together. They met and enjoyed their time, and in the evening they got on a bus to return home. Diya fell asleep during the bus ride, and when she woke up, they were in the middle of a strange city. The man told Diya he didn’t want to live without her, so he was taking her to a temple to marry her. They got off the bus, and he told her he was going into the temple to speak with the priests about arranging a marriage ceremony. Minutes later two police officers approached Diya and took her to the station. The man had actually brought her to a Red Light district, and he had been caught in the act of selling Diya to a brothel.
The police brought Diya to the She Is Safe-sponsored Restoration Home; a safe haven for young girls to heal from trauma and learn about God’s love for them. In this loving home, girls like Diya who are most at risk of being abused or trafficked into sexual slavery are able to envision new futures for themselves as they are supported in their education and encouraged to explore their talents. Some girls in the home were rescued from brothels where their mothers are sex slaves. Without this intervention, they would become enslaved as well, starting in their preteen years.
EVERY GIRL SAFE AND FREE
Lies. Manipulation. Exploitation. Abuse.
These are things we all want to protect those most dear to us from. Tragically, millions of girls around the world don’t have any protectors in their lives, leaving them vulnerable to the plague of human trafficking.
She Is Safe’s vision is for every girl to be safe, free and equipped to become who God created her to be. Some might think this vision sounds impossible, but we know with God all things are possible. We have seen many miraculous victories in our 20 year battle against human trafficking. Those victories keep us moving boldly toward our vision. I know that you share this vision. Let’s renew our efforts to grow the movement. I am confident your heart will be forever changed.
For the forgotten,
Michele M. Rickett
Founder & CEO
NEW TRANSFORMATION IN MENA
Refugees and other outcast people have been especially devastated by the pandemic. For parents desperate to feed their children, selling a young daughter into marriage, often to an older man, may seem the only option. This insidious form of trafficking is common in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA).
She Is Safe recently launched a new Transformation Group (TG) program in this region as an addition to ongoing local anti-trafficking efforts. These TGs will equip women and teen girls with anti-trafficking knowledge, vocational, leadership and life skills, as well as systems for saving and borrowing from their own funds. This program has been proven in other countries where She Is Safe works to protect women and their daughters from the tricks of traffickers and create new possibilities to provide for their families. Soon, we will be multiplying the number of women and girls who will live free from abuse and slavery.
I am eight years old, and I have never had a home with actual walls. Here in the Middle East, the tent where I live becomes hot in the summer and stays freezing in the winter.
We don’t have much to eat. My sisters are 13 and 15, and they are going to She Is Safe’s vocational school to become beauticians. They will not have to get married until they finish their education there. They tell me about their dreams to earn money from their new skills. My mother graduated from the She Is Safe vocational school as a seamstress. Others are learning computer skills and English. I want to be like my mother and sisters – learning skills to earn money to take care of myself and my family. They give me encouragement that I will not have to get married as a child; that there is a better future for me, too.
BECOME A VISIONARY
January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and we are reminded that trafficking remains a pervasive issue around the world. This is no time to hesitate in doing our part to change the lives of girls in danger of being sold. If you can envision a new future for every girl to be safe and free, you are a visionary. For less than a dollar a day, you can change the life of a girl in need of rescue. These girls need you and your vision for their lives to flourish. To learn more, visit SheIsSafe.org/visionary-partners.