Friday, April 30, 2010

Rescuing girls from sex slavery ~ CNN Heroes

I happened on this article by Ebonne Ruffins posted at CNN HEROES  thanks to a friend.

Here's a few quotes from the article, but please go and visit the page and read for yourself :

Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN) -- Geeta was 9 when she began wearing makeup, staying up until 2 a.m. and having sex with as many as 60 men a day.

"I used to be really sad and frustrated with what was happening in my life," she said.
The daughter of Nepalese peasant farmers, Geeta -- now 26 -- had been sold to a brothel in India by a member of her extended family. The family member had duped Geeta's visually impaired mother into believing her daughter would get work at a clothing company in Nepal.

"The brothel where I was ... there [were] many customers coming in every day. The owner used to verbally abuse us, and if we didn't comply, [she] would start beating us with wires, rods and hot spoons."
 It was not until Geeta was 14 that a police officer rescued her and brought her to a safe house compound run by Anuradha Koirala. The 61-year-old woman and her group, Maiti Nepal, have been fighting for more than 16 years to rescue and rehabilitate thousands of Nepal's sex trafficking victims.

"Families are tricked all the time," said Koirala. "The trafficking of the girls is done by people who are basically known to the girls, who can lure them from the village by telling them they are getting a nice job. It's a lucrative business."

By raiding brothels, patrolling the India-Nepal border and providing safe shelter and support services, Koirala and Maiti Nepal have helped rescue and rehabilitate more than 12,000 Nepali women and girls since 1993.

 I also checked out the Maiti Nepal website and what they are doing.

MAITI Nepal was born out of a crusade to protect Nepali girls and women from crimes like domestic violence, trafficking for flesh trade, child prostitution, child labor and various forms of exploitation and torture. A group of socially committed professionals like teachers, journalists and social workers together formed Maiti Nepal in 1993 to fight against all the social evils inflicted upon our female populace. Most of all, its special focus has always been on preventing trafficking for forced prostitution, rescuing flesh trade victims and rehabilitating them. This social organisation also actively works to find justice for the victimized lot of girls and women by engaging in criminal investigation and waging legal battles against the criminals. It has highlighted the trafficking issue with its strong advocacy from the local to national and international levels.

I'm just once again reminded that we should start to walk the talk and not wait for others to make a change. Change can start with one person ... taking action on an existing platform. We don't have to re-invent the wheel, just get involved right where you are, locally, and you will make a difference.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Follow-up on SCARED and PRICELESS by Tom Davis

Just a quick follow-up on SCARED and Tom Davis' next book PRICELESS. Priceless will be released on June 1st 2010. You can download Chapter 1 free here. For a limited time only you can also get a free download of SCARED  here.

She is Priceless is a website by Children's HopeChest and focus specifically on sex trafficking. Please go and check it out and become part of the solution.

Here is some trafficking data from the website:

Monday, April 12, 2010


Tom Davis is surely one of my heroes and a man I have a lot of respect and admiration for. Tom and a team are currently in Russia and Moldova to, and I quote:
Because we're sick of the evils forced on young girls who are being lured and kidnapped in the sex-trade industry.
Over 20% of women in Moldova are forced into the sex trade, which makes it the highest rate in the world. That is children and orphans simply disappearing from the streets … 30,000 women have literally disappeared in a country where the capital city has over 250 brothels! Now, some might say that Moldova is one of the poorest countries in the world, but that is no excuse or permission to exploit women or children.

Yet, this is a country filled with secrecy. You don't see hundreds of young women walking on the street offering themselves to passersby like in Bangkok. Technically, prostitution is illegal in this country under the new government but for years this was the center for women that were shipped into and out of to various places in the world. It was a clearing house of sorts where they would receive passports and paperwork.

One of the main ways girls get trapped is attempting to escape from the country for a better life abroad. 90% of the population wants to migrate out of Moldova because this is the poorest country in Europe. The opportunities are few and women long for a better life. This is the perfect environment for a trafficker. That life is promised to them by a company who offers, "great salaries" in England, America, Germany, etc. They sign up, get on a plane, and that's when the nightmare begins for them.

The majority of women and girls that are trafficked come from rural areas. Over 10 percent are under 18 years old, some as young as 12 years old. Traffickers recruit women and girls through different strategies:

Direct contact ~
Women and girls, or their families, are approached by traffickers. The traffickers are often women from the same village who have previously worked as prostitutes or have been trafficked abroad and became traffickers. The family is often paid money in advance and the woman or girl is expected to earn the advance and pay back the family’s debts;

Advertisements are placed in the press, offering jobs abroad ~
The advertisements directed at young women offer jobs as waitresses or house help, but more often bluntly state that the jobs are for those willing to work in the sex industry;

Tourist agencies offer full migration services from arranging passports and Schengen visas to transportation and work contracts. There are more than 3,000 tourist agencies, of which only some 140 have an official license to operate;

Job agencies ~
Out of a total of 100 job agencies, only fourteen have official licenses and these mostly hire men for construction work. Only three agencies offer jobs to women as waitresses and nurses. Others offer illegal work. Some of these enterprises are run by organized crime groups and operate as covers for trafficking.

From Tom Davis' Blog. Visit Tom's blog for more information, video's and photographs.

Furthermore, Children's HopeChest is launching a ministry to victims of sex trafficking in Moldova, helping to bring healing to girls rescued from brothels.

If you would like to bring healing to victims of sex trafficking, then HopeChest  invites you to make a gift toward their Stop the Secret Moldova Launch Fund.

There are four young women in two different safe houses in Moldova that needs help right now, $400/month provides care to one rescued girl for one month.

These brave young women were rescued, and now are embarking upon the long and difficult journey to healing.  The aftercare programs provide round-the-clock care, protection, medical care, and counseling.

   Support four survivors of sex trafficking for 1 full year: $19,200
   Complete the Renovation of Group Counseling Room: $1,200
   Finish the Security Fence: $1,400
   General Ministry Support: $3,200

Another way you can help now is to purchase a necklace. has come alongside Hopechest to help BREAK THE CHAINS of sex trafficking and orphan hood in Eastern Europe.  They are selling beautiful, hand-made necklaces for Mother’s Day, where the proceeds will benefit girls in Moldova rescued from sex trafficking.

Each of these projects is urgent, and provides healing to young women who have been rescued. To support any of these projects, click the donate button at Support Moldova  and put “Support Moldova” in the notes section of the give pages. You can also visit the web page for more information.

We can make a difference. We can change the world. When we lead with compassion, we can move from apology to action. And out of action springs hope-hope and life - Tom Davis, Red Letters.

Please re-post this, spread the word - start the fire and be part of the change.

 Another issue close to my heart is Child Abuse and in India Farah Khan Ali is lending her voice to the Fight against Child Abuse.

The time has come to ACT now and raise our voices before another child is harmed and becomes another newspaper report in a paper tomorrow. As a parent and as a concerned citizen I feel as a collective voice maybe we can make that difference so that the world is safer place for our children to grow for they are our future generation. Join Me my giving me your support as I take on this long and arduous journey to punish the perpetrators who scar the innocent minds of our children forever....

Read more on Farah's plea to Wake up and Stand up at Farah Khan Ali Friends Club.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

SCARED ~ A Novel on the edge of the world

This is one of the many FIRSTS for me. My first "book review" ... not exactly a review, but more the "after-effects" ... Isn't that what 's suppose to happen after good reading?

I’ve re-finished Scared ~ A Novel on the Edge of the World written by Tom Davis over the long-weekend and thought it was one of the most blatantly truthful and sadly beautiful books I’ve read in a long time.

Being involved in Swaziland for the last couple of years it makes Scared just such a more amazing book, it’s about Swaziland and her people. Publisher, David C. Cook says in his note at the beginning of the book:
“Child advocate and speaker Tom Davis gives us a gripping portrayal of the hurt and pain that affects many in Africa. This story reminds us of our need to be engaged in being light in a very dark world. Some scenes will grip and haunt you, some passages you will want to run away from - but this is real life. And real life requires true Christ followers to act justly and love mercy. May Adanna’s story inspire and embolden you.”

That is exactly what happened to me. I’ve always had a passion for the hungry, the hurt and the abandoned and I love Swaziland and its people ~ but reading this book started a change in me ... a shift in how I thought about others … how I see myself in relation to others …I experienced true compassion. Not just that “shame, the poor things” or “it’s so sad” type of feeling but gut wrenching compassion.

Swaziland has one of the highest HIV/Aids infection rates and we know that there are thousands of orphans in the country, but that might be all we know. We don’t realize the huge impact it has on these people’s lives, we don’t know how they live each and every day, we are not aware of their true every day struggles. But knowing makes it so much more personal and real. The plights of the children are basically the following:

“ Both of her parents died from AIDS, then a distant uncle took her in. Her life was reduced to the life of a slave. She was forced to work fifteen hours a day, and her uncle sold her body to men in the community so he could have money for alcohol. Then he began violently raping her on a daily basis.” (From Scared by Tom Davis)

That is the story of so many little girls in Africa. The Swazi Observer of March 8, 2010 reported:

"ABOUT 80 children have been raped in Swaziland in the last two months, police have said. Statistics released by late last week indicate that from January to the end of February, at least 121 rape incidents were reported in the country, and more than two-thirds of these involved children. Such alarming figures have fuelled the call for urgent passing of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Bill into law.

Police Director of Domestic Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Senior Superintendent Leckinah Magagula has raised an alarm, especially to women and children - who are major targets of abuse. Senior Superintendent Magagula encouraged parents to keep a ‘hawk-eye' on their children, particularly during the current marula season. The seasonal marula brew and alcohol abuse had been cited as the leading cause for most rape cases in the country. Magagula said a number of children were raped on the way home after school and some at their respective homes.

Police have warned that most children were raped by people well known to them. The statistics show that they are in danger from their siblings, parents, uncles, neighbors and helpers. The unprecedented increase in rape cases has fuelled police to call upon parliament to urgently pass the Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences Bill to Law. Senior Superintendent Magagula observed that the country was using outdated laws with light penalties against the perpetrators. She prayed that parliament would apply the same urgency it shows when passing the Human Trafficking Law. The country is stuck with pre-colonial laws such as the Crimes Act of 1889 and the Girls and Women's Protection Act of 1920. In essence, such laws cripple the efficiency of the judicial system and do not effectively address the evolving trends of abuse. "It is high time perpetrators are given harsher sentences," she said.

The Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill have been tabled in both Houses of Parliament and this legislation seeks to address some major gaps which appear in the current laws dealing with sexual offences and domestic violence. For instance, it has broadened the definition of rape to cover not only unlawful sexual intercourse with another but also unlawful sexual acts committed under certain circumstances, including any coercive manner, under false pretence or by fraudulent means, under duress, fear of violence or psychological oppression."

That might be the story of some little girls in your hometown. I can hear you say, “What?” It is true, a few friends and I had a quick soup-run in my hometown a while ago and I was stunned at what I saw. We had families evicted from their homes, people wandering the streets because they had nowhere else to go, and YES, 12 -13 years old child prostitutes. This was within a 3-kilometer radius from my home ~ abuse, poverty, death, and destruction are all on my doorstep. This reality made me realize that I cannot ignore my responsibility any longer; I cannot pretend that it is not my problem or that I cannot be part of a solution.

Yes, Adanna’s story did “embold” me to take a step and do something. It did shake me into action. And it was not that difficult and definitely not that impossible. We can sit around in our comfort zones and think of excuses not to get involved or we can get off our couches and start making a difference. The choice is yours. Get involved where you are, find out what is the available platforms where you can get involved. Ask, “Where can I serve”?

If you want to read a life-changing book get a copy of Scared.

Go and visit the Scared publicity page at  Scared   or  Tom Davis' Blog for more on Swaziland and the plight of the vulnerable in the rest of the world.

I by no means want you to feel guilty, but I do want you to realize that we are ineffective and comfortable in our comfort zones and the time has come that we become "doers". The world around us will not change if we sit around and wait. The time is now and the place right where you are.

(Photograph by Werner Diedericks)

A preview of Tom's next book PRICELESS here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hello, Integrity still out there?!

This is something that I try to live by day-by-day, but also thought about the past couple of weeks. I think it's just because of all the things happening around me, around us, in the world. And I was wondering if INTEGRITY is still out there ... I see people going about their everyday life, fitting INTEGRITY in where they decide it should be. Be it at work, home, relationships, religion, sport, wherever. But shouldn't it be part of our entire life, everyday? What is INTEGRITY? It is incorruptibility, soundness, and quality of state of being complete or undivided. It has to do with perceived
consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcome. Some people see integrity as the quality of having a sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to motivations for one's actions. Some people use the term hypocrisy in contrast to INTEGRITY for asserting that one part of a value system that demonstrably conflicts with another... Being a Christian I love the description from R.B. Thieme, Jr.:
wholeness of character, consistency of word and deed, uncompromising adherence to a code of values. Christian integrity comes from living by the Word of God.
I know this is a lot of definitions; but I'm a stickler for research :-) But having read all this I just once again realized that INTEGRITY has to do with the consistency of what we do with who we claim to be. It should filter through and be our entire way of life; at home, work, play, sport, religion, relationships, how we shop, how we talk, conflict management, etc. Then why don't we steal a DVD, but we don't have a problem to make an illegal copy? We are law abiding citizens, but we don't stick to the speed limit. We believe that we should not tell lies, but we don't have a problem telling a quick little white lie to our children or friends. We don’t talk on our cell phone while driving, but texting and driving is okay … Do you really have integrity when you only allow it in certain places in your life? While reading about INTEGRITY I came across these quotes from people that we consider our heroes or mentors
Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none - William Shakespeare
Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught - J.C. Watts
Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value - Albert Einstein
Quality means doing it right when no one is looking - Henry Ford
Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world - Goerge Bernard Shaw
I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill - Mahatma Gandhi
It is a man's own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways - Buddha
The time is always right to do what is right - Martin Luther King, Jr.
It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare - Mark Twain

(Photograph at top of post by Werner Diedericks)

Monday, April 5, 2010


Welcome to my little space :)

This Blog will be filled with my obsessions, thoughts, ideas and passions. So hold on to your seats!! Some days I might have a lot to say and some days not … I might even ask a few friends to share their thoughts. I love people, books, movies, music and food.

I'm addicted to Bollywood, yip that's right. Rather difficult addiction here in South Africa, but I manage. Becoming an import specialist and the Postal Service, my best friend. On the topic of Bollywood, I'm dreaming of my Indian holiday at the end of the year. Any suggestions, ideas? Please share!!

Well, that's all for now. My first post will be here before the end of the week.
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