The Affero Blog
Mary and I just registered to join International Justice Mission for the Nashville Benefit Dinner later this month at the Nashville Convention Center. We are thankful for the host committee and sponsors pulling together for this event and are honored to be invited. IJM President and CEO, Gary Haugen, will be speaking at this swanky event and we’ll enjoy a live performance from Amy Grant, one of Mary’s all-time favorites.
As I’ve shared in a previous post, Gary and his team at International Justice Mission are champions of justice and hope. They serve as a human rights agency rescuing victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals perform rescue missions and provide aftercare to victims. They courageously prosecute perpetrators and promote functioning public justice systems around the world.
What do you know about human trafficking? Did you know that every day a young woman is being tricked, a young child is lured, and a poor man is coerced from from their home or country and compelled to work with little or now payment. These people are being exploited. This trade is a modern day form of slavery. Some are forced into prostitution, others forced labor. Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world. And it is big business with the total annual revenue for trafficking in persons estimated to be between $5 billion and $9 billion.
Our friends at The Home Foundation are dedicated to the ending human trafficking both domestically and abroad. Through advocacy, education and relief efforts, they work courageously to end the suffering of women and children sold into sexual slavery.
There are as many as 27 million slaves world-wide. 85% of those victims are women and children. The devastation from this evil is tremendous in far-off places like India and Eastern Europe – but also a growing problem in the United States. Organizations frequently offer rescue and restoration to victims internationally because the need is so tremendous in these high-risk areas. However, little is being done to address the need for shelters here in the U.S. In fact, in some instances exploited girls are being kept in jail until they can speak out against their perpetrator because there was no other safe place to keep them.
To learn more about the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000, you can read this Trafficking in Persons Report from the U.S. Department of State. At The Home Foundation’s website, you can learn about their collaborative effort with other shelters dedicated to the restoration of survivors of sex trafficking. This association helps set forth guidelines to ensure that victims receive quality care to heal and re-integrate into them into their communities as wholly functioning individuals engaged in life. Restored and free from their past.
Take a minute and think about this. Can you imagine the suffering and long term effects from the trauma and abuse you would experience as a woman or child trafficked? Funding through Affero helps The Home Foundation with their vision to establish an educational conference to assist those serving this unique population – giving them tools to further develop their programs in the cities and homes where they serve and give them opportunities to network with other professionals serving in this field. This work aims to bring together experts in the field to equip and develop workers dealing with human trafficking here in the U.S.
The issues victims of trafficking face are huge, including; post traumatic stress disorder, disassociative identity disorder, night terrors, detachment, eating disorders, cutting, sexual trauma and much more. This conference deals with these issues while offering practical help and advice on running shelters in the U.S.
Established shelters dedicated to the total restoration of an individual rescued from sexual slavery will have a huge impact on the face of modern day slavery and the abolitionist movement of the 21st Century. When victims become re-integrated into society they can speak out against perpetrators and affect change for other victims. This will help move us closer to achieving our ultimate goal: a day when slavery is truly eradicated.
With your help, we are developing this association and quality shelters across the U.S. Each home is dedicated to HOPE, OPPORTUNITY, MENTORING, EMPOWERMENT, & SPIRITUAL SUPPORT. Thank you for your prayers, for giving and sharing this great work with your friends.
Change is what happens when ordinary people do what they can to stop injustice. Last night I met some seemingly ordinary people doing extraordinary things.
Daria Wilson is serving as a marketing intern with International Justice Mission. She served as point person for a 5 Weeks of Freedom event here in Nashville. A small army of volunteers showed up to help set up and work the event which was awesome to see. Musical guests Christa Wells and Derek Webb performed and freedom riders like Andrew Nelson shared why they are on the tour, cycling 1800 miles of historic underground railroad – from Mobile, Alabama to Buffalo, New York. To fight modern-day slavery and human trafficking.
The efforts of individuals like Daria, Christa, Derek and Andrew are heroic and significant. They bring awareness to a horrific reality. Did you know that more than two million children are currently exploited in the sex trade worldwide? Trafficking is a global sin against humanity fueled by coercion, deception and force. And you can help end it.
The sex traffickers prey on the vulnerable—victims of poverty, young women and children, and those searching for a better life. These innocents are often promised a job in another city by a trafficker who gains their trust only to sell them as sex slaves. Some are locked up in brothels and others do not have the resources or are too traumatized to find their way home.
The women and children who survive trafficking and commercial sex exploitation face many challenges. Psychological and emotional damage from years of cruelty and neglect can be paralyzing. Survivors also face health issues such as HIV/AIDS and damage to their bodies through abuse. Furthermore, in the developing countries, the social stigma attached to sex work means that many victims are not welcomed home. Thus, those who are trafficked at a young age find themselves without skills or education, are unable to re-integrate into society. Many victims of trafficking remain in the trade not because they are kept by force but because they have no other means of earning a living and imagine no other life. Lack of choice can enslave a child or woman as effectively as a locked door.
You can learn more about the scope of global trafficking by reading the U.S. State Department’s 2008 Trafficking In Persons (TIP) report. This is arguably the most comprehensive worldwide report on the efforts of governments to combat trafficking.
There are organizations like International Justice Mission confronting the brutal reality of human trafficking. In the past 10 years, IJM has helped rescue thousands of victims of trafficking, slavery and violent oppression. You can make a difference by raising awareness of this important work. I recently heard IJM’s founder, Gary Haugen, say that where people of good will provide political will and capacity building, trafficking will end.
Trafficking is real. Solutions exist. Join the fight. And tell others to do the same.
The votes have been tallied and this month’s category winner is…Human trafficking.
Human trafficking is the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor: a modern-day form of slavery. It is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest, after the drug-trade. Our partner organization, The Home Foundation deals domestically with the issue here in the USA where some estimates state that between 100,000 and 300,000 people are trafficked within our own borders every year. This is staggering and a very vocal reminder that much needs to be done to combat human trafficking both locally and internationally.
Our funds this month will go towards helping four shelters across the USA, housing and restoring trafficked victims who have been brutalized by this industry. Your gift allows us to support these shelters, giving new life to the rescued women and children.
Another way you can support this cause right away is to SIGN UP for the 31 days of freedom with The Home Foundation. Visit www.thehomefoundation.net/31days and join now.
Nashville is my home town. You may have watched as weeks ago the rain came down and the floods came up. Tons of people where flooded out of house and home. As it poured and the dangers mounted, people began to rally to one another’s side to help.
Local churches rapidly organized an army of compassion, offering hope and encouragement to their neighbors – meeting immediate and practical needs such as evacuation, food, clothing and shelter. Many, many families are devastated by the flood and relief efforts are massive and ongoing.
I thank God for organizations like Samaritan’s Purse and Hands on Nashville on the scene highlighting needs and coordinating efforts of thousands of volunteers making a difference together as recovery work continues.
Gary Haugen wrote a book entitled Good News about Injustice. The book is basically a challenge to be a witness of courage in a hurting world. In it, he breaks down the word compassion into it’s root in Latin. It’s actually two words: passio, meaning “to suffer” and cum, meaning “with.”
Gary and his team at International Justice Mission are champions of justice and hope. They serve as a human rights agency rescuing victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals perform rescue missions and provide aftercare to victims. They courageously prosecute perpetrators and promote functioning public justice systems around the world.
You can make a difference. Join us as we seek justice. Together, will not ignore the cry of the afflicted. We will stand against injustice and recognize the inherent dignity of all people as proclaimed by The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
There is a world of evil and injustice to rise up against. There is a sea of humanity living in extreme poverty, hungry. We’ve said that many hands make work light. Today’s technology gives us new ways to carry the load together. Take action and join our movement for justice and hope. Consider sharing this post with your friends and ask them to do the same.
Before signing off, please allow me recognize Andy Reale, who directed and did most of the heavy lifting on the “I’M IN” video. I’m so proud of his work. Wow. And somehow I managed to miss him when thanking folks in last week’s post. Andy, you rock!
Thank you for all your help sharing The Affero Project with others. Affero means in part to carry, to bring about, to give, and to bring news. YOU are The Affero Project.
It’s been said that many hands make work light. That’s so true.
Anyone who knows Lucas knows he has a heart for justice. He goes into schools and churches sharing how young people can make a tremendous difference in our world. He offers engaging mult-media presentations that challenge us to tackle problems facing humanity such as poverty, human trafficking, child soldiers, famine, disease, clean water and more. How can you not love this guy?
As I type this post, I’m reminded of an African proverb that says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, take someone with you.” The Affero Project is a team effort. Already, a community of talented and inspired people are lending a hand and leading the way forward. If you are reading this post, you are a part of the team.
Welcome aboard! And don’t forget to share with others what you’ve found. Tell your friends about The Affero Project. We are community against poverty and injustice, committed to bring hope, sustainable change, and empowering communities all over the world.
Thank you for joining the movement. We are going far together. You have already lifted a hand in significant ways. God bless you!
David and Amanda Rodriguez, owners of Guaranteed Gutter & Siding in Nashville, approached me about a year ago and plopped down the initial seed money to develop afferoproject.com. Without their early vision and generous gift, where would we be?
Ben, Josh and Shannon at Mellowtown navigated Lucas and I through the various twists and turns of taking our ideas and putting them into a well developed and functioning website. It’s beautiful, don’t you think?
Have you seen our introductory video donated by StoneKap? Or the “I’M IN” campaign video? Incredible. My wife caught me watching it over and over yesterday. It’s phenomenal. It captures so well the heart of what we’re doing. I LOVE IT!
When in Ohio making a presentation, Lucas met Joe. Then Beau, our very own Chief Affangelist, reinforced the tie with the StoneKap team. Soon after, the entire crew of this full service production company jumped in with both feet! I’m blown away by their inventive and creative direction. Thank you Chad, Tom, Shelvia, Dave, Joe, John, Derek, Kevin, Beau, Kevin D., and Robert for your creative work and for your generosity.
This is a blog post and not War and Peace. So I’ll sign off now. Thanks for checking in and watch for more posts to come. Don’t forget to share Affero with your friends and don’t forget to sign up and say “I’M IN!”.
We wanted to share what people are saying about The Affero Project so far! Visit www.afferoproject.com/community to leave your comments and read others. Be inspired! Ordinary People, doing Extraordinary Things!
This is pretty darn exciting! I am getting so much joy out of this community. 32 members and $168 already – pretty darn good. Can’t imagine what it will look like when Affero really catches fire with all of the people in our world who want to do good for others.
After I voted for Human Trafficking, I was reading how they need $100,000 to build restoration houses in the US. I realized how sweet it was to think that we could be giving $100,000 a month to them. That’s insane!
I can be a bit cynical when it comes to giving, but this is definitely something I can get behind. Let’s keep it going!
Let’s do this. Activate.