Sunday, July 6, 2014
Women At Risk - Helping to Unveil a Hidden Evil
As Many As 200 Million Women Are Missing!
Young Girl Sold into Marriage!
Child Abducted and Trafficked into Sexual Slavery!
Female Baby Killed and No One Protests!
Do these sound like the lurid headlines from some supermarket tabloid or maybe the trailer for some futuristic new movie? Unfortunately, truth is much worse than fiction.
Recently, I stopped with friends to browse at a display of beautiful scarves, jewelry and handmade accessories being sold in the lobby of one of the office building in downtown Grand Rapids. All the items being offered where handmade and absolutely beautiful.
I was initially attracted to the gorgeous, fringed scarves (scarves are one of my new passions) then my eye was caught by a collection of lovely note cards on handmade paper with dainty crocheted medallions affixed to the front. Since I love crochetwork, especially such delicate examples as these that appeared to have been made with something no thicker than sewing thread, I picked up one of the cards to exam it.
I read the note cards had been handmade in Kosovo, a nation torn apart by war. Many war widows there are living in extreme poverty, trying to eke out an existence for their families and themselves through their handcrafts. The delicate medallions on the card were some of their work.
Then I noticed the red brochure behind the cards. It talked about WAR International, the organization sponsoring this sale. WAR - the acronym for Women At Risk International - is a Grand Rapids based organization dedicated to giving voice to women around the globe, who are affected by slavery, exploitation, abuse, natural disasters and war, and offer protection and training to them in the name of the Lord.
The headlines listed at the top of this article are just the tip of the problem. Globally, there is a hidden genocide taking place against women. According to the US State Department, about 800,000 people around the world are illegally trafficked every year. A staggering 50% of these are children! Of the women taken, 70% are "sold into slavery, chained to beds of horror."
The U.N. Secretary General says: 114 to 200 million women are "demographically missing" due to infanticide, dowry deaths, domestic violence, and all manner of risks.
This isn't only happening in India, Pakistan, underdeveloped countries, etc. Within the United States, human trafficking has become the fastest growing segment of organized crime, according to the FBI.
Babies are sold into slavery for as little as $100.
Then there's the lucrative black market for human organs. Sudanese Human Rights lawyers declare going in for what should be a routine physical is often a death trap if tests reveal the patient has healthy organs that can be "harvested."
What can be done? Women At Risk is working to not only unveil this hidden genocide, but also to offer safe harbor to women, where they teach women not only the skills to help them become independent, but lovingly help restore their battered and destroyed self-image. A typical rescue costs about $200, and WAR raises funds for their work through sales of handcrafted articles at their boutiques and online.
If you'd like to hear more, visit their website www.warinternational.org where you can read more about their work and see some of the beautiful articles made by the women.
Please keep these people in your prayers, too. They need them!
PS - I bought the the note cards and the scarf.