Rapha House: Bringing Hope and Freedom
Rapha House is a Christian organization mainly in Southeast Asia. While they are a Christian organization, they also help those who do not follow the same beliefs. This organization's goal is to help children and women to escape from sex trafficking. Their slogan is "Love+Rescue+Heal". This is exactly what they do. Their vision is "No child deserves to be trafficked. No child deserves to be sexually exploited".
I first heard of this organization at a Christ In Youth conference in '09 called MOVE. I had just finished watching Baht, a documentary about a girl who went through human trafficking in Cambodia. My heart was broken, to say the very least. The horrors of what these women go through is terrifying.
Human trafficking as defined by the UN is the "illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor; a modern day form of slavery." According to the United Nations it is estimated that around 2.5 million people from 127 countries are trafficked every year. Victims run the risk of getting sexual diseases due to being forced to have sex.
The victims are usually tricked into slavery or sex trafficking. A common way that young girls and women are trapped into sex trafficking is that an adult will go to their parents and tell them that they will have the girl work in a restaurant or another place them and have a better life. The families in Cambodia are typically very poor and the parents want better for their family. What the parents do not know is that their daughter is really being forced to do labor or sex. They are usually taken to an unknown location and the victim's money is stolen so she can't leave. Victims usually do not try to leave because of consequences that could happen. They are also being manipulated by the people who took them as well as drugged so they can't escape.
What the Rapha House does to help these victims is rescue, shelter, equip, and reintegration. The Rapha House works with the law enforcement in their host countries to rescue the trafficked and exploited children. Next they have shelter which are called safe houses. While at these safe houses, the children get food, clothing and shelter. They also get complete health and dental care. There are also psychologists and social services for each child. Every girl there gets a general education and judicial advocacy when possible. After they're provided by the safe houses they are equipped with skills that will help them in the world which is vocational training.
After they have received all these they get placed back into the world through four areas, marriage, employment, business ownership and strengthening families. Not every girl will get married or become a business owner, to help these girls the Rapha House helps to get them safe and trusting employment. Some of these places are marketplaces, restaurants, or banks, and some even start to work for Rapha House. Since it'ss common for the parents of the girls to not know they were being sex trafficked, the Rapha House helps to return the girls with their families. This happens only after the houses are evaluated by a social worker and they are offered economic opportunities that will help them.
There are several ways girls escape from Sex trafficking with the Rapha House There are volunteering opportunities in Joplin, Missouri and Riverside, California. You can also have a freedom event and donate the money to the Rapha House. Freedom events can be concerts, fashion shows, car shows, auctions, as well as others. You can also be a prayer partner and pray for the victims in Sex Trafficking and for Rapha House. There are Anti-Trafficking Awareness trips that will let you see what goes on .If you would like to help Rapha House visit their website.