About five years ago a friend invited me to a tea to learn about the work a friend from her church does with She is Safe.
For several years my family had supported efforts to end human trafficking, so my friend thought I would be interested to meet someone who was doing the work in the field. Up until that point, my interest and focus had been on the urgent aspects of anti-slavery--namely rescuing victims and restoring them to wholeness.
Although She is Safe engages actively in rescue and restoration, what really captured my heart and imagination that day was when Katy told about her specific work with She is Safe: Transformation Groups.
It's one thing to rescue a girl from abuse and exploitation, but how much better to prevent the exploitation from ever happening in the first place!
If you were to visit the areas where She is Safe has chosen to focus their efforts, you would see cultures with rampant poverty and over population--cultures in which girl children are viewed as either a burden or a commodity to be sold. Women and girls in these parts of the world are vulnerable to a host of issues that go beyond sex-trafficking.
Transformation Groups engage with women in these cultures at a level to address these issues. Through these groups the women themselves are empowered in ways that actually prevent trafficking and child marriage from happening in the first place.
Working with partners within the community, She is Safe teaches women about God's love and their value in His eyes. Through the Transformation Group, women develop job skills, learn financial management, build savings and administer a lending pool as they support one another's success. These activities are conducted in such a way that the group is self-sustaining.
The beauty of She is Safe's Transformation Group model is that it equips the women to create positive influences in their community and better futures for their children without creating dependency. Once empowered, these women are often moved to then reach out with the little they have and impact others. The stories are amazing, and I hope to share some of them as we move towards the event date.
I encourage you to follow the links I have peppered throughout this post, which take you to appropriate pages on the She is Safe website. Perhaps some other aspect of their work will capture your heart. That's great! My prayer is that you will get as excited about this work as I am and be eager to gather a team of runners together and join us virtually the week October 7-14. You can sign up by following this link for registration.
If you want to get involved immediately, especially if you are a business who would help by sponsoring this event, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .