Monday, April 1, 2013

Make a Difference: International Justice Mission

Hi Friends! I am so excited to share this Make a Difference post with you. It has been so fun over the last year to connect with people from across the country and around the world here on my little blog. Even though we may never meet, I feel like we are on the same team, and this month, together we can make a difference. I hope that you will join in to celebrate the awesome things happening through the International Justice Mission. Here's a little about what they do, then I'll tell you what WE can do this month to be part of this amazing, life-changing work!


Over the past few years, lots of organizations have been bringing light to the fact that  slavery is a reality for for millions around the world right now.  I am so thankful for the amazing work of the International Justice Mission standing up against human trafficking around the world. Here's a few facts from IJM's web site.
  • Each year, nearly 2 million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade. (UNICEF)
  • Right now an estimated 27 million men, women and children are held as slaves. (Kevin Bales, Disposable People)
  • Trafficking in humans generates profits in excess of 32 billion dollars a year for those who, by force and deception, sell human lives into slavery and sexual bondage. (IJM)

In so many countries this kind of evil goes unpunished and seems unstoppable. This is where IJM comes into play, not only rescuing exploited women and children, but prosecuting the perpetrators, for an outcome of justice. Of course they can't take away the pain that's been inflicted, but they can offer counseling and hope and be sure that these same offenders can not harm others in the future, by fighting for the convictions and punishment that they deserve for their crimes. Sex trade is not the only kind of slavery that IJM works to end. In many countries poor families find themselves with no where to turn, and get trapped in debt bondage for even the smallest loan or debt. IJM helps to rescue families around the world who are being forced to work in debt bondage.

What IJM does is working. In the last four years they've reported this progress:
  • More than 2,000 children, women and men have been freed from slavery 
  • More than 800 women and children have been rescued from forced prostitution 
  • More than 300 individuals have been arrested for trafficking-related offenses 
  • More than 1,000 widows and orphans have returned to homes or land stolen from them 
  • More than 2,500 have received their rightful documentation of citizenship or elevated legal status
I dare you to watch this video without getting goose bumps...


So, here's where we come in: IJM is doing a special campaign to celebrate their 15th birthday. View the Ever Never Again: Make a Difference for Freedom page here. I have set a goal of $1,000. Can we do it? Here's what IJM can do with every dollar we raise:

$45 covers the cost of one day of undercover investigations. 
$240 covers the cost of six days of aftercare for a victim. 
$455 covers the cost of seven days of legal advocacy. 
$2,540 covers the cost of operations for one day in an IJM field office. 
$4,500 covers the cost of one rescue operation for victims of sex trafficking or forced labor slavery. 
$18,500 covers the annual cost for an IJM national lawyer to advocate for the oppressed.

It's a privilege to be part of this work. Thank you so much for reading, and for standing together for freedom! Click here to donate and make a difference today. I will keep you updated, and hope that we can reach our goal of $1,000 by the end of April! Go team! : )
- Haley

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