India Project Letter

You Can Give a Rehabilitation Home to Trafficked Girls

Every day in India, young teenage girls are exploited and abused for their bodies. They are powerless to escape because their keepers control every aspect of their lives. Anita is their only hope of rescue. Anita—our partner in India—and her rescue team courageously storm brothels to rescue these desperate girls and give them a new life. Read the story of Salma, a girl Anita rescued.

Until recently, government-run shelters have been the only available safe place for Anita and her rescue team to take the rescued girls.

These shelters do provide physical safety, but they are not prepared to handle the girls’ unique challenges and needs. For one thing, there is little or no counseling. The social shame and stigma against sex trade victims makes it incredibly hard for these rescued girls to integrate with other girls at the shelter. Instead of receiving the compassion they so desperately need, they are treated like one of the “untouchables” in India’s caste society.

To make matters worse, many of the rescued girls are from outside the region or country. They have been brought in from Bangladesh and Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) with the false promise of marriage or better jobs. For these victimized girls, life in the shelter is an incredible burden. The language, food and culture are all an adjustment. They are not allowed to communicate with their families, and repatriation is often delayed for months—sometimes years.

Compounding the problem is the fact that the government-run shelters and their programs resemble a prison. The already-traumatized girls are thrown into panic mode, and suicide and escape attempts are common. And the unthinkable happens. Security at the shelters is not standardized. Traffickers have often posed as a relative of the victim and obtained the release of the girl back into their control!

You can change this!

The Azadi Center

Through the support of compassionate people like you, there is a solution. We have partnered with Asian Aid’s Operation Child Rescue to provide a rehabilitation home in the heart of Bangalore, India. Anita is the director of Operation Child Rescue in India, and this home provides a safe place for her to take the rescued girls. It’s a place where they can go to heal emotionally, physically and spiritually. Today, this rehabilitation home is a reality because of the outpouring of gifts from concerned supporters like you! Thank you!

Anita recently sent me a video tour of this new home.

This new home is called “Azadi,” which means “freedom.” The Azadi rehabilitation home is a beautiful three-story home in a safe neighborhood, removed somewhat from the busyness of the city of Bangalore. Anita and her team have remodeled the home so that it looks fresh and inviting. From the front door all the way to the rooftop terrace, the home feels like a place where the girls can make a new start. The house also has a beautiful garden area with many stone-carved benches that will provide additional space for therapeutic and leisure activities.

After all the abuse these rescued girls have suffered, they are understandably quite fearful and apprehensive of where they are going and what will happen to them. They do not know whom they can trust. The girls’ safety is of prime concern, so a security guard will be on-site 24 hours a day, and safety mechanisms are in place to prevent external and internal threats. The comforting environment of this home will help ease the girls’ fears.

The Azadi Center will offer a two-year program designed to prepare survivors for reintegration into society. The home will use a multidisciplinary approach to address the trauma of these girls. In addition to on-site counseling tailored to each girl’s individual needs, they will also receive vocational training so each girl will have a marketable skill to support herself with when she leaves. And most importantly, Anita will share Jesus with the girls, and the ultimate healing He offers.

The Indian government is extremely interested in this new model for a rehabilitation home and has asked Anita if she would take 50 girls. The need is great, but this home will only comfortably accommodate 10-15 girls at a time. Once the program is tested and established in this location, we would like to expand the program to include additional homes so that many more girls can be restored. Will you join us?

Your gift today will provide a trafficked girl with a renewed life and hope.

A gift of just $5.60 provides a girl with a safe home for one day; a $170 gift provides care for one month; and an especially generous gift of $2,040 provides rehabilitation for a full year! Will you consider making a gift today?

Your gifts are changing lives for good. It is because of you that trafficked girls like Salma have hope today. Thank you for caring enough to make a difference in the lives of these broken girls.

Your brother in Christ,

Shawn Boonstra

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