Christian Examiner | “Hollywood is driving global sex trafficking epidemic by glamorizing porn, Christian activist says”

Hollywood’s normalization of pornography is feeding the sex trafficking industry, says Noel Yeatts, president of the anti-trafficking organization World Help.

“The United States is the number one consumer of sex worldwide, and we’ve become numb enough to pornography that we’re fine with films and TV shows that glamorize this particular issue,” Yeatts told The Christian Post. “The danger here is that we forget there are people behind this issue, and it causes us to become cold to the sex-trafficking epidemic that is right on our doorstep.”

“As Christians,” she added, “we have an incredible opportunity to make a difference. In this #MeToo world we live in, we can’t forget that there are women who have been saying that for hundreds of years, yet no one has been listening. Together, we can change that.”

World Help exists to rescue vulnerable girls from sex trafficking and help them pursue their dreams. The organization ministers in Thailand and India, and focuses on meeting urgent physical needs while also investing in sustainable solutions in the fight against poverty and spiritual darkness. Since 1991, the group has touched the lives of nearly 84 million people and saved countless women and girls from the sex trafficking industry.

“What we do is rescue girls from the sex industry and give them a second chance,” Yeatts said. “We house them in one of our freedom homes and give them an education, spiritual discipleship, and a safe place to live.”

Yeatts cited the high rates of poverty and hardship in tribal communities across both India and Thailand as a driving force behind the sex trafficking epidemic. Oftentimes, girls enter into prostitution because they are expected to provide for their families. Many of them, she revealed, are just 9 to 14 years old.

“A lot of people don’t understand extreme poverty drives this business globally,” she said. “In reality, poverty is the pimp. Girls come from rural areas of extreme poverty with the burden of providing for their families. They end up in bars because it’s the only place that will give them a safe place to live. One thing leads to another, and before they know it, they’re trapped in this industry.”

In Bangkok, a city known as Southeast Asia’s “gateway for human trafficking,” upward of 30,000 girls can be found working in well over 1,000 bars, Yeatts said, and that number is growing.

“I talked to one girl at a bar and I was surprised to see how much we had in common,” she recalled. “She pulled out her phone and showed me her son, and then it hit me that our lives could not be further apart. We wanted the same things, like providing for our children, but I have resources and she doesn’t. Poverty had robbed her of any opportunity.”

World Help’s freedom homes have housed hundreds of girls over the years, giving new life to those captured in the sex industry.

“I’m always struck by the difference between the girls on the street and in the home,” Yeatts said. “In the home, they’re little girls dancing and playing, but the laughing and dancing doesn’t tell the whole story because these girls’ stories were full of physical and sexual abuse, child pornography, and abandonment and hunger. It’s heartbreaking.”

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Read more from, “Hollywood is driving global sex trafficking epidemic by glamorizing porn, Christian activist says,” on The Christian Post.

Read the original article here.

Newsmax | “7 Myths About Child Sponsorship”

If you were to spend any amount of time with me, you would quickly see that I’m passionate about a number of social justice issues plaguing our world today. But one of the first things that drew my heart, even as a teenager, was the needs of children around the world.

I vividly remember traveling to Brazil with my dad when I was a young teen. There, my sister and I met a little boy who had been living on the streets, and my heart broke for him. Of course, I hate to see anyone suffering; but the impact poverty has on children feels especially brutal. Since that day, it has moved me to action. I watched as that little boy grew up to become a man, receive an education, help other children, and even start a family of his own — all because someone cared.

That is why I am so passionate about things like child sponsorship. In a world full of causes begging for your attention, child sponsorship can sometimes be overlooked. It’s usually a monthly gift, and for some people that can feel like too much. Others are skeptical, believing their money will never actually make it to their child or it won’t actually make a difference.

But after decades of working with sponsored kids, watching them grow up and become empowered, successful adults, and sponsoring several children myself, I can tell you — it works.

Here are seven myths people believe about child sponsorship:

  1. It’s an outdated method

Just because something has been around for a while, doesn’t mean it’s outdated. Child sponsorship is still around because it has been proven to work. It is a sustainable method that invests in a local community, one child at a time — meaning the impact you have today will continue to be felt for years to come.

  1. I’m not really helping a real child

Although I cannot speak for every organization, I can say that in most cases, this is simply not true. When you receive information about a child, that child is very real and very much in need of your specific help … that child knows who you are! Some organizations, including ours, even offer you the chance to travel and meet your sponsored child in person!

  1. I won’t ever get the chance to connect with my sponsored child

Organizations like World Help go out of their way to make sure that you have the tools you need to connect with your sponsored child. Building a relationship, particularly in a cross-cultural setting, can take time. But by consistently writing letters and sharing about yourself, you and your sponsored child will be able to create a bond of friendship and trust.

Set your expectations realistically — it may take weeks for your letter to travel overseas, be delivered to a remote village, and be translated into your child’s language, so you won’t be receiving a reply every other day. And depending on the age of the child, he or she may not yet know how to write. They may choose to draw a picture instead. But you can be sure that your child cherishes your letters and looks forward to responding. I’ve visited the homes of countless sponsored kids and seen cards from their sponsors proudly displayed among their most prized possessions.

  1. My money goes straight to the child’s family

In order to best serve the child, the money is typically distributed through local partners in the country. This ensures that your dollars are going toward essentials that the child needs and investing in his or her future instead of being used in other ways that you may not be aware of. It also empowers local teachers or community leaders to build relationships with the children, furthering the sustainability and maximizing community impact.

  1. My investment isn’t really addressing the problem

As a child sponsor, you will be addressing some of the most pressing problems. Most sponsorship programs allow you to provide access to educational opportunities, nutritious meals, and medical care. In poor communities, families can barely afford to put food on the table, much less pay for an education. Your commitment will help keep a child alive and give him the tools he needs for the future.

  1. Sponsorship creates dependency

Just the opposite. When children receive an education, they are empowered to pursue a career as a teacher, a doctor, or whatever they wish to be — allowing them to break out of the cycle of poverty that has entrapped their families for so long. You give a child access to the things he needs to one day provide for himself and give back to his community.

  1. With so many people in the world, how can sponsoring one child really make a difference?

I can promise you this, it will make all the difference to that one child, and that matters. We spend so much time trying to maximize our impact that we forget that impacting one life is better than impacting none at all. And the great thing is, when you invest in a child, your impact grows with the child. We have seen so many sponsored children grow up to become teachers, offering education to children from the same neighborhoods they grew up in. Sponsorship breaks the cycle of poverty and starts a new one — a cycle of hope.

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Read Newsmax: 7 Myths About Child Sponsorship | Newsmax.com 

Newsmax | “On World Day Against Child Labor, Get Kids Into the Classroom”

From an early age, I knew that I wanted to help change the world.

As a young girl, I traveled with my father around the country and eventually around the globe. I dreamed of the places I could one day go and the people I could help. As I grew up, my parents invested in my future and in my dreams, and it is because of them that I get to be part of a humanitarian aid organization like World Help.

But not every child gets a chance like that. In fact, in poverty-stricken communities worldwide, children as young as 5 years old are forced to spend their days working in fields or factories.

They should be in school. They should be dreaming about what they want to be when they grow up. Instead, they are overworked and underpaid, forced to watch as their dreams — and their childhood — slip away.

We don’t hear much about child labor these days. It’s incredible to think that in today’s world it still exists! So, it may come as a surprise to you that right now, 152 million children are suffering as child laborers.

That’s 152 million children who aren’t receiving a regular education. That’s 152 million children who are doing work that is often far too taxing for their growing bodies. This is a massive problem, but it’s one that has a solution.

The United Nations has declared each June 12 as World Day Against Child Labor. The theme for this year is “Children shouldn’t work in fields, but on dreams!” The goal? To take steps toward eradicating child labor by reducing poverty and getting kids all over the world into schools.

Because the truth is, without an education, children like Ruth will remain caught in an endless cycle of poverty.

At just 7 years old, Ruth has the sass and confidence of a much older child. When you look at her, you can’t help but think, “This little girl could change the world.” There’s just one problem. Ruth comes from Kikooba, Uganda — a poor community where most schools are far away and far too expensive.

Behind her bubbly smile is a life full of tragedy. Ruth’s parents never had educational opportunities, either. While struggling each day to make ends meet, her father grew angry and violent, often abusing Ruth’s mother. To keep the young girl safe, Ruth’s grandmother took her in. But while Ruth was out of physical danger, her future was still incredibly bleak.

Ruth’s grandmother couldn’t afford to send her to school. So, like many children in her village, Ruth knew she would have to go to work instead. In Kikooba, there aren’t many employment options for girls without an education. Most girls either work in the fields, marry at a young age, or eventually join the sex industry.

They do what they must to survive. But education changes everything.

That’s why Ruth and her grandmother were overjoyed when they learned that there was a new school in Kikooba; and, better yet, Ruth received a child sponsor who would help send her to that school!

Today, Ruth is excited to start every day. She rolls out of bed and pulls on her bright blue and yellow uniform instead of clothes for working in the fields. She grabs her books instead of a garden hoe. And she’s chasing her dreams instead of being paralyzed by poverty.

This is why World Help is so passionate about child sponsorship. Over the years, we have seen children grow up to become teachers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and even doctors — all because they were given a chance. And most of those children turn around and give back to their community.

When Ruth grows up, she dreams of becoming a teacher. She wants to do her part to help other little children succeed in school and escape a childhood in the fields.

On this World Day Against Child Labor, we can make that dream become a reality for children like Ruth around the world.

Noel Yeatts is an active advocate for social justice and humanitarian needs around the world. With over 20 years of experience in humanitarian work, Noel is an author, speaker, and the President of World Help, an international, Christian humanitarian organization serving the physical and spiritual needs of impoverished communities around the world. Noel regularly takes the stage for speaking engagements and advocacy events around the country and has been widely recognized for her groundbreaking book, “Awake: Doing a World of Good One Person at a Time.” To read more of her reports — Click Here Now.

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Read Original Article Here.

Newsmax | Providing Girls in India With Another Option

For 500 years, one tribal group in northern India has relied on the prostitution of its oldest daughters as a key source of income.

This tribe, known as the Banchara, is part of India’s lowest caste — the Dalits or “untouchables.” While all of the Banchara people suffer from discrimination, extreme poverty, and lack of educational opportunities, girls bear the brunt of it.

When Jafit was born into the Banchara community, she was taught from a young age that she must do whatever it took to provide for her family … even if that meant selling her body for sex.

I’ve changed Jafit’s name because her culture forced her into this lifestyle of sexual slavery. It’s a tradition called Nari Mata. The oldest daughter in each household will enter prostitution in order to pay for the marriage dowries of her brothers.

Jafit started selling her body at the age of 12 — which is customary for girls in the Banchara community. Now, she’s 20, has a 6 year-old son, and won’t pay off her brothers’ dowries for another 40 years.

Families, driven by poverty, perpetuate the ancient tradition behind this practice. Mothers groom their daughters for the sex industry, fathers peddle their services to locals, and brothers use their sisters’ earnings to pay for their dowries.

The entire family benefits from the prostitution scheme — from the abuse of a young girl.

But the sex industry is no place for a little girl.

She should be in school, on the path to a career she loves, and in a home where she feels safe and valued. Her place shouldn’t be in the middle of a business transaction.

Jafit dreams of getting married one day. She wants to support her brothers, but not like this. She wants to have a career and a life of her own. But without an education, Jafit will never escape a life of abuse, shame, STDs, unplanned pregnancies, and pain.

The organization I work with has been advocating for girls in the Banchara community for more than eight years, going deep into the heart of India to confront modern slavery face-to-face. We offer girls a choice — the opportunity to get an education instead of following in their cultural tradition of slavery. And with every girl who chooses freedom, we are seeing progress.

But it takes time to break down a tradition that has dominated a society for centuries. Many parents see no value in sending their daughters to school. They believe she should be making money on the streets like so many generations before her instead of spending time in a classroom.

I have traveled to the Banchara communities of India many times, and I have seen some of the most horrendous sights. These are images I wish I could wipe from my memory. It wasn’t necessarily graphic or obscene like I’ve seen in the red-light district of Pattaya, Thailand, where girls stand half-naked on Walking Street.

But the things I saw in India were so disturbing, mainly because of what they stood for. A cot outside of a family’s home meant there was a daughter there whose body was for sale. And if the girl was sitting on the cot outside, it meant she was “open for business.”

I don’t have a daughter — but if I did, I cannot possibly imagine teaching her to put on seductive makeup as she nears her 12th birthday. I can’t imagine seeing my sons encouraging her to take more customers so they will have a bigger marriage dowry and be able to make more successful marriages.

But to people from the Banchara community, this is everyday life. Hundreds of years of desperate poverty and family obligation mean they have never known anything else.

That’s why the best way to break through this cultural slavery is to provide a girl with another option.

First, prove to her she is worth more than being degraded day after day. Then, show her she can pursue an education, despite the fact that she is a girl. And when she can confidently enter the workplace, she can support her family in an honorable, dignified, and safe way.

And when a girl is given freedom, she will teach her own daughters someday how much they are worth and that they do have a choice … helping to break the generational cycle of slavery.

Girls don’t belong on cots outside their homes as if they are “for sale” signs in their front yard. They belong in the classroom, in the workplace, and helping to raise up their own children to live in freedom.

It’s been my passion over the years to raise awareness about these atrocities and help rescue girls out of this terrible life. I hope you will join me so we can put girls in their place — where they truly belong — in a safe home, receiving an education, and learning their true worth.

WORD FOR 2018

One word … I didn’t really choose a word for 2017. It chose me. And the word was: change. Although that seems too simple of a word. At times a better word would have been “stripped”. I read where someone wrote about a time in their life where “all that no longer fit had no choice but to fall away.” That captured my year and my heart perfectly. All that no longer fit, or all that I was holding on too tightly to … it had to go. It simply had to fall away.

 

Which brings me to 2018 where once again a word seems to be choosing me … align. You see, I am finding that now with all the change and the removal of all these things, I am left with a lot more clarity about the person I want to be, how I truly want to live my life, the things that I should hold on dearly to, and most importantly the work I believe God has prepared me for … and in order for me to be effective, all these things need to align.

 

Alignment can be defined in many ways – a position of agreement or alliance, to adapt, unification, consolidation, adjust and much more. But my favorite is this – an arrangement of items in a line. Doesn’t that sound lovely and so organized? And after a year of so much change, I could use a little stability and organization.

 

When I think of alignment – one of the first things that come to mind are my tires. We get our tires/wheels on our cars aligned, right? Well, not really. Here is an official definition I found on what alignment means from Bridgestone:

 

Alignment refers to an adjustment of a vehicle’s suspension – the system that connects a vehicle to its wheels. It is not an adjustment of the tires or wheels themselves. The key to proper alignment is adjusting the angles of the tires which affects how they make contact with the road.

 

So, it’s not really our wheels that are aligned, but rather the suspension– the very core of our vehicles– what connects our vehicle to the wheels. And, I love that … proper alignment is adjusting the ANGLES … so that our wheels make proper contact with the road.

 

You see, as much as I like things arranged in a straight line, all orderly and prepared, that’s just not how life goes, right? True life is full of ups and downs and curves in the road. There are mountains and valleys, twists and turns, bumps and pitfalls.

 

And without proper alignment, just like in my car, I’m going to start pulling to the left or right – off center – and off focus.

 

Alignment to me means making sure every part of my life is in a position of agreement with God – my marriage, my family, my work, my relationships, my goals and desires.

 

When I am in agreement with God at the very core of my life, and when my straight lines are aligned with Him, then I can be prepared for all the curves life may throw at me.

P.S. Want to dive deeper into this idea of alignment? My good friend, Michele-Lyn Ault of The Pointed Life has just launched a free online study on guess what … Alignment! And I can’t wait to dive in. Will you join me?

 

Only 25 More Girls

25 girls. Each one is a precious life that desperately needs to be introduced to Freedom.

25 names. 25 stories. 25 precious daughters, sisters, mothers…all trapped in the cultural slavery of the sex industry.

This morning, I wanted to update you on our Hello, Freedom campaign.

If you have been following along, you probably have seen that we are so close to meeting our goal of inviting 260 girls to our Freedom Night.

 

But there are still 25 girls that we need to invite.  And we only have until tomorrow to make sure these girls attend our Freedom Night.

 

This one night of Freedom could be the turning point in her life. A chance to change her entire future.

 

 

Hello, Freedom

 

 

 

Free, 7-Day Devotional

I want to offer you a free, 7-day devotional sent straight to your inbox! I hope that you will sign up for this devotion and spread the word to those you think would enjoy and grow from it. To receive the daily devotional, just sign up here.

Blessings,

Noel