What do you think of when you hear the word “trafficking”?
Before I started visiting India and Thailand, I just pictured the horror stories you hear in the news, the ones where girls are abducted from their hometowns and sold into another country.
But now my perspective has changed. Many girls in India and Thailand aren’t being taken from their families. Often, their families are the ones who are pushing them into the sex industry.
That’s why these girls desperately need your help.
Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day, which is why I want to share Navi’s story with you. I’ve changed her name to respect her privacy.
Navi is a 15-year-old girl living in the Banchara community of India, an area where the oldest daughter in each family is expected to sell her body in order to pay for her brothers’ marriage dowries. It’s a tribal tradition known as nari mata that is centuries old.
After looking at Navi’s picture that we received from our partners, my heart broke thinking that was her future.
This young woman is absolutely beautiful. Her eyes are bright, her hair long and dark, and she has a smile that could light up any room.
But without an education, Navi’s only hope of earning an income to pay the dowries and support her family was to follow in her mother’s footsteps and sell her body.
“My mother wanted me to drop my studies and push me into the same profession,” Navi said. “My life was going into darkness without hope and a future.”
Navi’s mother is now infected with HIV. Still, she wanted her daughter to become a sex worker and help support the family, too.
These girls aren’t being trafficked by strangers — they’re being forced by their own relatives out of desperation.
In Thailand’s culture, too, the burden of providing for a family often falls on the daughters. Many young women who can’t afford to go to school find jobs in the country’s famous red-light districts because they feel it’s their only way to survive. They end up working in the bars and selling their bodies to paying customers night after night.
It may seem like a poor choice in judgement, but for these girls it is their only choice.
Their only choice to make a living … to buy food … to meet their families’ needs.
Will you help a girl like Navi escape this life and give her hope for a better future?
For just $50, you can help introduce one girl to a life of freedom by providing essentials like a safe place to live, counseling, medical care, and education or vocational training so she can start a career that she loves.
Your gift will help protect her against unwanted pregnancies and lifelong diseases. Most importantly, it will show her how valuable she is in God’s eyes.
I can’t think of a better way to spend your Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
Please give today to help transform a life forever.
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