In battle against child sex trafficking. They were
In 2002, co-founders Rob Morris, Desirea Rodgers, Lamont Hiebert, and Caroline Hahm went on a disturbing journey to Southeast Asia to discover how they could serve in the battle against child sex trafficking. They were led undercover to a brothel where they observed children being sold for sex. The children sat, blankly watching cartoons on TV. There was no light in their eyes, no life left. Their light had been stolen away from them. These children were constantly physically damaged at a rather young age. Specifically, one girl whose number was 146, would not watch the cartoons. She looked beyond the glass that kept her captive. There was still fight left in her eyes. Resulting in the movement Love146 that was then founded in 2002 in southeast Asia. Love146’s mission is to end the trafficking and exploitation of children by recognizing and developing the capacity of leaders in the field to further protect the children. The organization’s survivor care programs are broken up into regions: the U.S., UK, and Asia. In Asia they have the opened the Round House. This was a place focused on assisting young girls. The Round House solved the girl’s health issues, provided them an education, giving them a new dimension with music, and engaged them in gardening and farming activities. By doing this, they have been given ideas for future livelihood/business and developed their concern for other creatures. The organization later figured that boys also required the same attention these girls did. Therefore, they opened the White Home. This home did the same thing as the Round House, however, it was focused on the care for young boys. In 2015, their prevention education curriculum, Not a Number, has facilitators active in 14 states as of 2017. Not a Number was established to teach young people how to defend themselves from being exploited by others through information, crucial reflection, and skill advancement. It concentrates on respect, compassion, individual strengths, and the relationship between personal and societal tensions that create or increase vulnerabilities. The U.S. and U.K Survivor Care work has a Rapid Response program. This program immediately delivers personal advice and information to a young girl/boy that is at high risk or in sex trafficking. They talk about the grooming method traffickers utilize, internet protection, healthy connections, and resolutions to possibly threatening situations. To encourage that discussion, they leave the youth with a backpack stuffed with essentials in order to survive. These essential items include a sheet, a journal, a rain poncho, a teddy bear, toiletries, hotline numbers, an emergency phone, and many more. Rapid Responses are currently responding with youth in Connecticut and the greater Houston area.People can get involved and help this movement in an abundance ways. Firstly, they can purchase items to put into the backpacks that are given out through the link to Amazon located on the website. The items range from granola bars to woolly teddy bears, and hand sanitizer to exercise books, each specific item meets safety concerns that will benefit the child’s health and were carefully selected to ensure every child is granted crucial support along with the feeling of being valued. People can also shop ReImagne to purchase upcycled items to not just contribute to the funding of the houses and education for the children but to also help conserve the planet. Buying printer cartridges through Secor.com is a unique way people can contribute. All the profit from these cartilages goes towards stopping human trafficking. Lastly, people can become monthly donors to directly provide money to further develop more youth’s lives. All money is utilized to help maintain an income to youth (through jobs in pizza places) instead of them depending on prostitution. Also, helps Love146 bring service to many others with more backpacks and payments for education to enable highly qualified professionals to consistently care for children affected by trafficking, every single day.The values of Love146 are being hopeful, thoughtful, patient, collaborative, innovative, and to continue to persevere. Love146 chooses to hope as an act of defiance in the face of violence and abuse. They are working on a very complex issue. Therefore they hope to learn from the children. It is worth extra time and resources to be thoughtful so that their solutions will endure and have a greater impact. They welcome diverse perspectives to the table, refining their approach by listening to others with experience. They ask themselves, “How can we be helpful?” As specialists, they understand they are more effective when they collaborate with other professionals. Love146 challenges people’s assumptions. In the midst of a daily sense of urgency, they imagine and develop solutions. Finally, they stick around for the long haul. Their story is about not giving up. They embrace stories that never truly end: that have complexity, struggle, beauty, and humanity is what they value the most. This is a lesson society needs to learn because we cannot change the past, we can only learn from it. We also must have faith these children or they are the future of our planet. The Bible doesn’t really directly address anything regarding human trafficking, however, we need to have a good understanding of God’s Value of human life. God loves everyone and created him in his own image (Genesis 1:26). This shows great value of a single life. Consequently, we are told to love our neighbor (Matthew 19:19) and those in need (Luke 10:25-37). Including these poor children being exploited by adults for sex. Then Jesus taught us the Golden Rule: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12) This can be interpreted as a message to the adults. If they wouldn’t want to be exploited and abused, they should do it onto others. We also learn to: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9. This means we should speak up and defend these children who don’t have a voice for themselves by donating or volunteering at organizations like Love146.The Catholic Social teaching number five: The Common Good relates to my topic because it shows people that they can reach their fullest potential and that they are worth something. From the information I learned from visiting the Refuge, the children who usually end up in sex trafficking were homeless. This was commonly caused by the deprivation of self-love which leads to people losing respect for themselves and feeling as if they aren’t worth anything. Furthermore, moving them further away from God. Love146 teaches the youth affected that they are in fact loved and helps them reach their fullest potential through their programs. The Catholic Social Teaching number two: Respect for Human Life relates to my topic because it is what most men who are involved in sex trafficking don’t have respect for these young children’s lives and just views them as an object they can use for satisfaction. This can have an impact on the children’s lives at a very young age. Love146 ensures that over time they can gradually reduce the number of children that lose self-respect and the number of men exploiting the children. The Catholic Social Teaching number nine: Solidarity relates to my topic because it tells us we are all one big family. The adults that manipulate these children must have felt love at least once in their life. I firmly believe that they would not want their child or anyone they love become exploited for sex. They should consider how the loved ones of the child must feel to be deprived of someone that is apart of their family. Love146 understands this teaching very well. They treat every child they meet as their own and make sure they prepare them for the dangerous and sick world just as a parent would. They love each child just as they would love their neighbor. Doing Love146, as the topic of my presentation has opened my eyes to the dangers of our sick world. I learned to not just respect others but to a certain extent, I have to respect myself. These children usually have grown up to have no self-respect for themselves and now through Love146 must learn how to. This topic really connected to me especially because it was inspired by a story that took place in a country my parents were born in, the Philippines. Since then I have contacted my grandfather in the Philippines and have discussed these topics with him. This not just raised awareness regarding this topic in my family it also brought my family together. I believe this project has not just expanded my knowledge but has also affected me to a personal extent bringing me closer to God.