Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

Some say a picture is worth a thousand words. Maybe so.
Some, when looking at this picture, probably only see three girls holding books. No big deal.

But when I look at this picture, I see something entirely different. I see hope. I see three formerly trafficked girls dressed in the uniforms of their new profession--a profession that brings them dignity, a profession that means freedom. I see three formerly trafficked girls studying English. Not everyone in their country gets that opportunity, but these girls do. Knowing even a little English opens so many more doors for them. And when I look at this picture, I don't just see three girls; I see dozens of people. I see these girls. I see the other girls coming through our shelter and waiting for their turn to learn the skills of independence that we teach in our aftercare program. And I see our donors. This photo would not be possible if it were not for our donors. And for them, the thousand words found in a single picture boil down to just one--thanks. Thanks. It's perhaps the best word that I can offer for what you do. And I know thanksgiving is felt in the hearts and spoken on the lips of each girl in this picture and so many more that you're helping. You're making a real difference.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Mini Tutorial on Human Trafficking

The Road to Slavery
Often girls end up as victims of human trafficking because of their family of origin. Traffickers take advantage of parents ignorance and poverty. And so, girls end up enslaved in the sex trade.

The Road to Freedom
There are three steps to bridge the gap from slavery to freedom—rescue, shelter and aftercare.

The Problem of Relapse
Often girls who get no further than rescue and shelter relapse into the sex trade once they're on their own, for they have not been given any viable skills to live independently.

The Solution is Aftercare
With aftercare, we break unhealthy dependence on the family of origin; and we provide girls with marketable skills that help them live independently and with dignity. Aftercare means opportunity. And opportunity is the key to lasting freedom.

At Rapha House, we work with agencies and individuals who rescue girls from the sex trade. We provide safe and caring shelter to rescued girls. And with our commitment to aftercare, we work hard to help girls live successful and independent lives. We're successful when the girls that we serve are successful.