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Healing for Victims of Sexual Exploitation

Working in: Cameroon, Ghana and Guatemala

Human trafficking is a violation of one’s rights and dignity. It’s a crime against humanity. And it’s a crime against God who created men and women in His likeness. This crime inflicts unimaginable pain on its victims, especially children and adolescents. They are traumatized physically, emotionally and psychologically. And without intervention, these victims will carry their wounds for life.

In 2013, UNICEF-USA reported that there were about 21 million victims trafficked around the world* and approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation**. Because of widespread and devastating impact, human trafficking has earned the epithet, “modern-day slavery”.

The Canadian Bible Society has recently partnered with the Bible Societies in Cameroon, Ghana and Guatemala in providing help to victims of human trafficking through Bible-based trauma healing programs.

Cameroon: Project Esther

Many young girls as young as nine-years-old are victims of sexual exploitation in Cameroon. Research shows that 40% of Cameroonian young girls aged between 9-18 are victims of traffic intended for sexual exploitation. Most of them get pregnant around 15 years old, and by the time they reach 30, they would have given birth to about 3-5 children. Unfortunately, without formal education, these girls end up knowing nothing but a life of servitude, and suffer from sexually transmitted diseases and violence.

Since it was launched in 2008, Project Esther has contributed to the decrease of sexually exploited children in Cameroon. The program provides Bible-based trauma healing resources which communicates an important message: that they were created in God’s image, they have worth and a wonderful future in Christ.

“Project Esther is the best thing that has ever happened in my life. I was in total despair when I joined in 2008. It was in one of the sessions that I opened the Bible for the first time in my life. The seminars that were organized helped me to radically turn to God, who is my Father. Today my life has a new meaning. Thanks to Project Esther, I had the opportunity to follow a training on human and women’s rights. Whenever I have an opportunity, I attend the activities and every time I came out more edified spiritually.” – Edene

Ghana: Rescue Mission

The discovery of oil in the western region of Ghana in 2008 generated an influx of people seeking greener pastures from other parts of the country and the African continent. The increase in population in the western region brought challenges for the local government, including child prostitution. Girls between 12-17 years of age, who came from impoverished and broken homes. were lured into prostitution. Many of these girls were involved in prostitution due to lack of education and guidance.

The Bible Society in Ghana launched the program, “Rescue Mission for Vulnerable Teenage Girls to help address this issue through Bible-based resources specially designed to educate young girls about the dangers of the sex trade. More importantly, they are taught about God’s love and his wonderful plan in their lives. Girls who were rescued from the sex trade are also offered counseling, providing emotional and mental healing.

Guatemala: Free to Live

Guatemala has the highest number of human trafficking cases out of the seven countries of Central America. It is ranked 8th out of the 27 countries of the American continent. Every day, at least 33 children and women are caught by trafficking networks in Guatemala.

Free to Live is carried out in state-run and private orphanages that host 700 girls per year. These girls, aged 7 to 18, are homeless, orphaned, or have been victims of sexual, and physical abuse. Through weekly dialogue and teamwork, the program aims to bring inner healing and encourages victims to look forward to the future by assisting them in creating a life-plan.

* Infographic: A Global Look at Human Trafficking – UNICEF-USA
** 11 Facts About Human Trafficking – DoSomething.org

Your gift of $50 can:
  • Place a Bible into the hands of 4 victims of sex trafficking so they may begin to rebuild their life in Jesus

Support this project by selecting “Victims of Sexual Exploitation” when you donate.