Fighting to prevent the progression of sex trafficking and rescue those who are already enslaved.

Even If Just For One- Jennifer Williams

Posted on January 11, 2015

sokchea 1 sokchea 2

sokchea 3It is easy to become overwhelmed by the intensity of human trafficking. It is a huge problem involving so many, in all kinds of places. How do we help? How can we make a dent in this massive injustice? Fight for THEM determines to fight this injustice even if just for one. This past summer “even if just for one” meant one at-risk 9 year old girl diagnosed with cerebral palsy who had been laying on a mat for 9 years and considered only a burden, but we knew better. We had heard of the need for medical training and evaluation through In His Steps International who had come alongside of Sokchea, and rescued her from a life of despair. We knew that this one girl could be a world changer. We knew that with the proper medical attention she could thrive. Because she is worth it. Because ONE is worth it.

Jennifer, the physical therapist I assisted, and I spent hours upon hours planning for Sokchea and training our new Cambodian friends, who were timid at times in caring for this sweet yet strong-willed girl. We watched as they grew in confidence in taking care of her. It was beautiful to watch, as they learned how to assist her and then see her muscles respond. They were nothing short of incredible. Sokchea was assisted in doing things that her little mind probably never dreamed possible. She was able to sit up and watch the traffic pass by her small home. She adored the rides to and from the church especially when she could feel the wind blow through her beautiful dark hair. And at the end of our time there while we were saying our goodbyes she rolled over on her elbow, something we had been working on all week, propped herself up, and mustered up all of her strength to use her voice! It was the first time she used her voice in communication aside from laughing or crying. This is something we specifically prayed for! It was her way of saying goodbye and it was a beautiful moment.

One week assisted in changing Sokchea’s life. It changed the team assisting her, but most importantly it changed her family. The last day that we dropped her off at her home was much different than the pervious days of laying her on her mat and leaving her there after we said goodbye. This day was as if something had clicked. It was as if there was a realization that she had value. This day they scooped her up so that she could watch us leave while the whole family waved goodbye as we drove away. They began to understand that she was worth it.

She is the ONE. The ONE we were called to help. The ONE that has a purpose even with her diagnosis. The ONE that can make a difference. The ONE that will indeed make a difference.

Seventeen for Sokchea

Posted on June 1, 2014

jan and jen sokchea5

sokchea9 years. For 9 years this little girl named Sokchea who has cerebral palsy has been told, “Lie still!” and “Do not move!” My oldest son is almost 9 and the thought that for the same length of time that he has been supported, hugged, encouraged and loved she has been laying on a mat in a village, neglected and scorned and at risk of something even worse happening to her like being abandoned or sold.

She started out her life fighting, being that her mother tried to abort her and failed. She has also experienced so much pain: possible fetal alcohol syndrome, a botched medical procedure, flat head syndrome, and years of neglect and rejection.

The irony of it all (if you want to call it that) is that her name means “healthy”. I for one believe that this is not a coincidence. I believe that she was predestined for greatness. That man does not see what God sees and that while we might see someone neglected, sick and broken he sees the fullest degree of beauty, strength and greatness in her.

I want to invite you to play a part of the reality of this for her. In His Steps International has come to her rescue and come along side of Sokchea. They have helped her make great strides toward becoming a happy healthy child. They have asked for assistance from a certified physical therapist to come evaluate Sokchea and train their team on the best way to care for her. That is exactly what we are going to do. We will be sending one of our own volunteers Jennifer who is a para to a young boy with cerebral palsy and the physical therapist she works under (also named Jennifer) to fill this need! But we need your help to make this happen. We are asking for 200 people to give $17 for Sokchea! This will cover the remainder of the costs needed for these 2 women to help her caregivers teach her to reach her full potential! I know that together we can do it. Please re-post, share and do what you can. Let’s fight for Sokchea!

National Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Posted on January 21, 2014

ImageJanuary is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. This month why not get your friends, family or coworkers together and see what you can do to fight human trafficking!

For a young girl who has been rescued and is ready to be reunited with her family, being reintegrated into normal society can be a scary thing! One of the girls biggest fears when going home is that if there is no toilet it requires them to walk some distance in the bush to find somewhere private. For a young girl who has already become sexually exploited this is a terrifying thought and puts them at risk and in danger. A toilet not only means better hygiene for her and her family but safety for her and her siblings. A room and toilet build is only $600 and can make all the difference for a young girl and her family.

She Rescue Home is one of the organizations we support. 

Here is a list along with a toilet build, of examples of projects they fund and their costs:

House build- $2000

Room and toilet build-$600

Well for income generation for reintegration- $500

6 chickens for income generation for reintegration- $30

House repairs safe house for reintegration $400

House and land $2500

Please consider what you can do to make a difference this month!

 

 

It’s not OK- Why we do what we do -a message from SHE Rescue Home

Posted on October 17, 2013

she rescue

This is the story of one on the girls in our care. We’ve omitted her name to protect her identity, but perhaps just for a moment you could step out of your skin and imagine your name in her place…

She is four feet tall, has a self-cut bob haircut and a big toothy smile. For the longest time she has known the most beautiful Cambodian proverb- that she is like a white cloth. She is pure and clean with no blemishes (just as a young girl should be). This knowledge gave her a hope for the future that far outweighed her circumstances. She has never met her dad, her mum was sent to prison for drug trafficking and until she entered the care of SHE Rescue home, she was living with her grandmother in a home most would nt even consider a home. With no other options available she begged and sold bracelets on the street to contribute towards her family income.

Note: Cambodian proverbs do state that women are pure like white cloth however this is not the whole proverb. In it’s entirety the proverb is as follows… Men are like gold and women are like white cloth. If god is tarnished it can be polished up like new, though if white cloth is stained, it is stained forever…

She had befriended a group of 13-15 year old boys for protection as she begged into the early hours of the morning, though instead of protecting her, the raped her. Betrayed and distraught she went to the one place she knew to escape- her grandmother.

She disclosed this terribly painful and confusing experience to her grandmother only to find out that her grandmother’s concern did not lie in her grief but that she was no longer white cloth anymore-she was tarnished. As time passed she began to believe it herself.

Because of this stigma and dramatic drop in perceived worth, her grandmother started taking her to motel rooms where elderly western men were waiting- not to rescue her, not to comfort her, but to further break her body and her spirit in unspeakable ways.

Thankfully this is not the end f her story (even though for so many women and girls who never get rescued, it is). She was rescued and taken to the safe-haven that is the SHE Rescue Home. Though it took some time she has realized that she will never be taken to another motel room again. The new people she is with don’t beat her, don’t mistreat her, certainly don’t rape her and in fact treat her as is there isn’t a stain marred across her life at all. She goes to school rather than sell things on the street, She gets to talk with professional counselors about her life, She has a social worker to help her and her family move towards a better future, and she gets a warm dry bed and a loving house mother every single night until that better future she had always hoped for can become a reality. It’s not ok that she had to experience what she did and that’s why we do what we do. -SHE Rescue Home

With Christmas right around the corner please consider what you can do to contribute to fighting for children just like this. Fight for THEM jewelry makes beautiful and meaningful gifts for family or loved ones and by your purchase 100% of proceeds go toward projects that assist in the rescue and rehabilitation of those who have been silenced.

Sak Saum Nursery

Posted on September 10, 2013

At 23 weeks pregnant with twin boys my mind is on all things baby. As I pin baby ideas to my pinterest board, look through baby magazines and browse through baby stores my natural instinct is to create the most beautiful loving environment for my sweet babies before they arrive. I feel so blessed (and relieved) that our nursery is almost ready for our boys complete with two cribs, a rocking chair, and lots of sweet decorations on the walls, shelves and bookcases. Our cabinets are full of bottles and our closet with diapers.
I cannot imagine what it would be like to feel helpless when it came to preparing a place for my child or taking care of them when they arrived. To think that there are women who have been abandoned, taken advantage of, left with nothing and no way to prepare or provide for their baby or baby on the way breaks my heart.
This is a reality for many women, but fortunately for the women in this video someone has stepped in. It is so inspiring to see the efforts of the Sak Saum staff (one of the ministries Fight for THEM helps support) making a difference in the lives of not only young women but their children as well. These women are equipped with skills to work and make money to take care of their children and lead them in a loving lifestyle so that vicious cycles of abuse, abandonment and neglect are broken.
“Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.” -Mother Teresa

My heart is overjoyed that these precious lives will feel loved, cared for and wanted from the very beginning.

Watch out Freedom’s coming

Posted on August 6, 2013

Watch-Out

One of the ministries we support, Sak Saum, creates jobs for women to assist in the restoration/prevention process of anti-trafficking. The women employed create beautiful bags, jewelry and accessories and sell them at events and online. For the month of August they will be partnering with an organization, The Exodus Road, to fund brothel raids. They are highlighting their ‘Freedom Wrap Watch’ this month. Each watch is $20 and $10 from every watch sold will go to fund brothel raids. With every 150 watches sold another brothel raid can be funded. Please visit http://saksaum.com/blog/ to read learn more or to order a watch!

“Perspective” – a message from Dave with SHE Rescue Home

Posted on June 5, 2013

High-res version

Recently as I ate dinner outside a café in one Cambodia’s most tourist focused areas I was approached by a tuk-tuk driver parked on the curve. Usually when my wife and I are in the are, we are hassled by countless drivers all keen secure our business, however as I sat there with two ale companions on this occasion the driver did not offer us a ride home. Instead he disclosed in detail where we could go to have sex with young Vietnamese girls. “Air-conditioned rooms” he says, “all Vietnamese” he stresses. “How old?” I reply, fishing for information, “18…no 17 years old…very, very young sir.” he answers.

The conversation didn’t continue much longer before we had had enough and left, but the question remains- How does a building’s worth of 17-year-old Vietnamese girls end up in Cambodia’s capitol Phnom Penh awaiting the next tuk-tuk full Western men to have sex with them? This is in a country where institutionalized brothels are supposedly illegal.

I feel like my perspective on human trafficking changes almost daily. Some days the creative wickedness and sheer magnitude of the issue I am confronted with leaves me with a great understanding of why God just wanted to wipe the earth in the days of Noah. What short of a flood could fix this international monstrosity? On the other days, as I enter our SHE Home and see a host of indescribably beautiful smiles, I am infected with joy from the inside out. What short of a miracle could restore a smile stolen forever. Nothing. To me the girls in our care are living miracles. Testaments to the true, redemptive love of a saviour.

That I am here in Cambodia to experience both sides of human trafficking is also a miracle. I have never been a great listener, and even worse at obeying the things I do hear. But at this moment there is no doubt in my mind that my wife and I have heard God’s call and for at least once in our life, we obeyed. Every time our SHE girls can see what a man’s heart looks like. one that will do anything to protect them, will fight for their security, and longs for their happiness is priceless. Even more, when they see my wife and I together and witness first hand that marriage is not abusive, self-centered or unequal, God speaks louder than we ever could with words.

My final thoughts are this- Human trafficking is one of the most degrading, ungodly, disgraceful and complex issues we humans have ever conceived. To think that someone can claim ownership over another and force them to do thins they wouldn’t even ask of an animal is beyond my understanding. Furthermore, to think that young western men, such as myself are playing a massive role in creating the demand breaks my heart. However as I read my bible, and look through history, it is clear that we humans have never fallen short of finding ourselves in a mess. And God has never fallen short of providing an answer. Regardless of my ever changing perspective on human trafficking, I know that He has a plan. My hope is that many more will hear their role in the plan and perhaps for just once in their life, obey.

Dave and Hayley