Hapas 4 Hope wrote -
HAPAS 4 HOPE
Every so often we come across a reality so heartbreaking and a story so inspiring we have no choice but to get involved. The three of us -Justine, Janine, and Michi- found our cause in Somaly Mam's story and the children and young women suffering at the hands of the sex trade.
Somaly Mam's book, Road to Lost Innocence tells her heartbreaking story as a child and young woman fallen prey to Cambodia’s sex trade. Betrayed by a man whom she called her grandfather, Somaly was sold into slavery as a very young girl and forced to work in a brothel where she, along with other children, were repeatedly tortured and raped on a daily basis. After witnessing the murder of a close friend, Somaly found the courage to escape. Since, she has dedicated her life to helping other young women and children who suffer at the hands of the sex trade in Southeast Asia.
Unfortunately, Somaly’s story is not unique - thousands of young children, sometimes as young as 3 years old are kidnapped, sold, raped, and tortured everyday around the world. Over two million women and children are sold into slavery each year.
We cannot ignore this reality.
The Somaly Mam Foundation is up against an astoundingly complex and sophisticated human trafficking and sex trade industry. This wildly profitable network victimizes vulnerable women and children, generating billions of dollars in annual revenue.
The Foundation’s efforts not only conduct raids on brothels but sustains several shelters in Southeast Asia, providing a safe-haven for victims and equipping them with the skills and support to pick up the pieces and move forward towards recovery. It also hones in on the behaviors that fuel the sex trade, encouraging people to think critically about the surrounding culture of sexual violence to shift the mindset that allows the sex trade to flourish.
Inspired by these young women, their fortitude and courage, together, we hope to change some lives and we hope that you will join us.
We URGE you to take a few minutes to watch the embedded video clip above.
SO WHAT’S THE PLAN?
We invite you to join us in raising $15K to donate directly to the Somaly Mam Foundation! So spread the work and whip out your checkbooks (or credit cards—whatever is easiest) and help us reach our goal of $15,000!
Your donations have the power to rescue survivors and to prevent vulnerable women and children from falling prey to the sex trade. Every donation makes a difference and is tax-deductible! Imagine the difference you could make by contributing a weekend’s worth of drinks - or a month’s worth of coffee.
$25 helps provide young survivors with computer training.
$30 is a gift of health to a young survivor - a crucial exam and blood test for a girl rescued.
$120 helps provide a survivor with a year’s worth of specialized training in weaving, sewing, or other vocational skills that will help her get a job and stay employed.
$360 per year will help keep rescued girls safe from violent offenders. Shelters are under constant threat from organized crime syndicates that run the brothels, and pimps who want to re-enslave the rescued girls. This donation covers a shelter’s security fees for one year per girl, and allows the girls to rebuild their lives in a secure, loving environment.
$500 provides a survivor with everything she needs to start her own business, including supplies and materials.
$1,000 pays the annual salary of a psychologist to provide counseling and rehabilitation to girls at a shelter in Southeast Asia. Removing a child from a brothel is not a solution in and of itself; your donation will provide the support survivors need to embark on the long and painful journey ahead.
$12,000 funds the annual salary of a full-time doctor who can provide regular medical treatment to survivors and help them heal the wounds of their victimization.
2. SPREAD THE WORD!
Please share this information with others. Send our link to your friends, family, neighbors, and even total strangers! Remember, there is power in numbers!
We urge you to pick up a copy of Road to Lost Innocence, read it, and pass it on!
For more information about Somaly Mam Foundation and related programs please visit: www.somaly.org
Stay tuned for upcoming FUNdraising events! Think home-baked goods, cocktails, and rocking music!
[All photographs are courtesy of Norman Jean Roy] Norman is a prominent portrait photographer and the winner of numerous awards for his contributions to the world of editorial photography he is also an activist and Board Member of the Somaly Mam Foundation
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