TRAFFICKING NEWS


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A magnitude-7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti on the afternoon of January 12, 2010, was one more disaster in a country that had suffered from decades of political, economic, and social setbacks and inequalities.

With approximately 3 million people affected, this earthquake was the most devastating natural disaster ever experienced in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Roughly 250,000 lives were lost and 300,000 people were injured. About 1.5 million individuals were forced to live in makeshift internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. As a result, the country faced the greatest humanitarian need in its history.

Timeline of the 2010 Haiti earthquake and recovery

2010: Earthquake

  • January 12, 4:53 pm.: A magnitude-7.0 earthquake hits Haiti, on the island of Hispaniola, near Léogâne, about 16 miles west of the capital, Port-Au-Prince.
  • January 20: While multiple aftershocks are recorded soon after the initial quake, the U.S. Geological Service reports the strongest aftershock is a 5.9 temblor on January 20 that collapses many already damaged buildings.
  • October: A cholera outbreak begins and spreads rapidly.

2010 to 2014: Continuing challenges

  • 2011: UNICEF, the U.N. children’s agency, reports 1 million Haitians are still in temporary shelters.
  • 2012: Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Sandy cause damage and flooding. More than 400,000 people still live under tents and tarps.
  • 2013: By August, more than 8,000 Haitians have died from cholera. Haiti is in the midst of a major food and nutrition crisis.

2015 to 2018: Prioritizing development amid setbacks

  • 2015 through 2016: More than 1 million people are affected by drought because of El Niño conditions.
  • October 2016: Category 4 Hurricane Matthew causes massive destruction and displacement.
  • 2018: While progress has been made, some of the issues prior to the earthquake still persist in Haiti, such as weak political governance, lack of infrastructure, and limited access to basic resources.

FAQs: What you need to know about the 2010 Haiti earthquake

Explore frequently asked questions about the magnitude-7.0 earthquake that struck January 12, 2010, and learn how you can help people in Haiti:

Haiti 2010 earthquake The epicenter of the 2010 earthquake was at Léogâne, about 16 miles west of the capital, Port-Au-Prince.
The epicenter of the 2010 earthquake was at Léogâne, about 16 miles west of the capital, Port-Au-Prince. (Wikimedia Commons)

Fast facts: 2010 Haiti earthquake

  • An estimated 250,000 people died.
  • At least 300,000 people were injured.
  • 5 million people were displaced.
  • Nearly 4,000 schools were damaged or destroyed.
  • At the time of the quake, 70 percent of the population lived below the poverty line.
  • More than $16 billion in total aid was allocated by international agencies and private donors to Haiti for 2010 to 2020.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

Why was the 2010 Haiti earthquake so destructive?

The earthquake registered a magnitude-7.0; that’s a high level of energy at the point of impact. Because it occurred at 6.2 miles below the surface, a shallow depth, its powerful energy had a devastating effect at ground level.

The epicenter of the quake was near to Port-au-Prince, the capital city, with more than 2 million people in the metropolitan area. Many of Port-au-Prince’s multi-story concrete buildings collapsed in a deadly heap because they were poorly constructed. There were no building codes enforced.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

What challenges does Haiti face today?

Some of the issues Haiti faced prior to the earthquake persist today, including weak political governance, lack of infrastructure, and limited access to basic resources. Haiti ranks among the world’s least developed countries because of political, social, and environmental insecurity.

Recurring disasters, such as Hurricane Matthew in 2016, make it hard for Haitian families to overcome entrenched poverty.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

How does poverty affect children and families in Haiti?

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world—the only low-income country in the Americas. About two-thirds of the Haitian population depends on agriculture to make a living. Most grow smallholder crops such as corn, bananas, plantains, cowpeas, and yams. Their crops are vulnerable to environmental shocks and stresses such as drought and floods. Often their yields are limited by lack of irrigation and soil erosion, especially on deforested mountain slopes.

Today, with nearly 60 percent of the population living below the poverty line, many children are hungry. In fact, half of all Haitians are undernourished and 100,000 Haitian children under 5 suffer from acute malnutrition.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

How can I help children in Haiti?

  • Pray: Lift up children and families affected by recurring disasters in Haiti.
  • Give to World Vision’s disaster relief fund: Your gift will help provide emergency food aid, agricultural support, clean water, medicine, and other essential care to children and families affected by disasters like the 2010 Haiti earthquake and subsequent hurricanes.
  • Sponsor a child in Haiti: Help change a child’s life story as well as their family and community by providing access to nutritious food, healthcare, clean water, education, and more.

BACK TO QUESTIONS

World Vision’s work in Haiti

World Vision had worked to improve the lives of children in Haiti for 30 years before the 2010 earthquake. Within minutes of the quake, World Vision staff sprang into action and began distributing pre-positioned emergency supplies. World Vision’s staff, mostly Haitians who had suffered many losses themselves in the earthquake, stepped up to serve their own people. Their consistent efforts over the past years have saved lives, reduced suffering, and provided a future for thousands of affected Haitians.

In response to the quake, World Vision called upon the largest unified effort of its national and global support offices. The Haiti earthquake emergency response team assisted almost 2 million people during the first 90 days following the disaster. These efforts included providing basic services such as food assistance; shelter; and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH).

2010 to 2015

As a result of World Vision’s work, at the end of five years:

  • 2 million people received food aid.
  • More than 200,000 people received emergency shelter.
  • 250,000 students participated in school feeding programs in more than 800 schools.
  • 300,000 people benefited from cholera treatment and prevention programs.
  • 90,000 displaced people in camps received potable water for close to 24 months.
  • 19,000 farmers were trained in better agriculture techniques to increase crop yields.
  • 10 schools were constructed.
  • 30 Child-Friendly Spaces served nearly 8,000 children.

2016 to present

World Vision continues to work in Haiti to improve the lives of children and families so that they can move from subsistence to a sustainable and full life.

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By Jacqueline Cohen, Guest Blogger*

Concealed behind the curtain of bloodshed, a piranha feeds on the despair fostered by war. Extreme internal conflict lays the foundation for human trafficking to thrive. The chaos, violence, and lack of enforced policy places people in a state of extreme vulnerability. The severe case of Syria is no exception. From child soldiering and sexual slavery within Syria to migrant smuggling between Syria and surrounding countries, refugees displaced by the Syrian Civil War are at a much higher risk to be exploited and trafficked. The desperation for food and shelter combined with the continuous closing of Middle Eastern, European and American borders has affected an environment abounding with parasitic opportunists waiting to take advantage of those who have lost everything.

A Look Inside Syria

Syria’s ongoing seven-year civil war has left the country dilapidated in war-torn remnants. With the conflict continuing to escalate, more and more civilians are forced to flee their homes. It is estimated that more than half of Syria’s population has been displaced, nearly a quarter of which have fled to the neighboring countries of Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq. Its citizens are homeless and lack basic resources such as food and medical aid. The borders surrounding Syria are becoming increasingly closed due to the massive emigration of refugees. Furthermore, the recent fear of Islamist extremism has resulted in tightened border control and restrictive migration policies in European countries, making it more difficult for Syrian refugees to be granted asylum. As a result, legal migration routes are sparse.

The multitude of armed forces attempting to exert control over various regions of Syria has had a particularly significant impact on child soldiering and sexual slavery. The recruitment and use of child soldiers has become somewhat of a norm in Syria. Extremist groups such as ISIS, pro- regime forces, and even Syrian government forces take advantage of displaced children utilizing them as soldiers, human shields and suicide bombers. Forced marriage and sexual slavery continue to increase as conflict escalates. Not only are young Syrian girls often forced into marriage with ISIS fighters, but ISIS routinely abducts women to trade for sexual exploitation within Syria and surrounding countries.

Limited Options

Syrian citizens have become unconscionable victims of politics and of a seemingly never-ending crusade for power. The degree of displacement and the lack of basic resources in Syria is astounding. Aid convoys have progressively been compelled to withdraw from unpredictable and perilous regions that are in desperate need of food and supplies, leaving Syrians desolate and hopeless. The struggle just to survive often propels people to employ desperate measures.

Refugee and migrant smuggling has become increasingly prevalent as a direct result of the war. In an attempt to remove themselves from the precarious situation in Syria, refugees have been forced to take illegal and oftentimes dangerous routes into other countries. The use of illegal passages offered by smugglers places Syrians at risk for exploitation and trafficking, which may begin in Syria and advance both during the passage out and upon arrival in the destination country.

The recruitment of Syrians for the purpose of trafficking is especially prevalent in the neighboring countries. Syrian refugees are particularly vulnerable to agencies that fraudulently promise to resettle them in another country with secure jobs. They are instead subjected to street begging, forced labour, or sexual exploitation. Forced labour, mainly in the form of agricultural work and textile factories, is accompanied by extremely poor working conditions and wages resulting in debt-bondage. While prostitution is masqueraded as temporary marriage in many cases.

The Passage Out of Syria

Due to the rapid and high influx of displaced Syrians, neighboring countries such as Lebanon and Jordan have created stricter visa requirements and entry grants for refugees. Because Turkey has accepted the highest volume of refugees it is near impossible to find work there. The only remaining option is to pay smugglers to lead them across the Aegean Sea into Greece with the hope of being granted asylum in Europe.

Smugglers take advantage of the desperate situation facing refugees and use it as a means for profit, sometimes charging thousands of euros for a passage out of shattered Syria. Smugglers assure them that they will be welcome in Europe and that they will be able to find decent work. But once they arrive in Greece they unwittingly become trapped there, a result of restrictive European migration policies. Women, especially those traveling alone or with children, as well as unaccompanied children, become vulnerable to sexual violence and trafficking. Migrants fear the police who often turn a blind eye to the astronomical exploitation, and even take part in coercive conduct.

Conclusions

The unremitting situation in Syria has resulted in vast desperation precipitating a gateway to exploitation. From child soldiering and sexual exploitation in Syria to refugee trafficking in surrounding countries, the effect of Syria’s formidable conflict is expansive. Any hope of amelioration, barring an end to Syria’s civil war, will require European and Middle Eastern countries to reevaluate their restrictive migration policies. For the welfare of countless innocent lives already distraught by war, it behooves society to figure out a way to safely and successfully integrate Syrian refugees into their communities.

 

*Jacqueline Cohen is a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health pursuing a Master’s in Public Health Genetics and a Certificate in Global Health. This blog is Part 1 in a series of guest blogs written by graduate students from the University of Pittsburgh advised by Assistant Professor Dr. Luke Condra.

Edited by Cecily Bacon, Director of Communications and Social Media

Photo Credit: flickr


About the Human Trafficking Center

The Human Trafficking Center, housed in the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, is the only two-year, graduate-level, professional-training degree in human trafficking in the United States. One way graduate students contribute to the study of human trafficking is by publishing research-based blogs. The HTC was founded in 2002 to apply sound research and reliable methodology to the field of human trafficking research and advocacy.

Founded in 1964, the Josef Korbel School of International Studies is one of the world’s leading schools for the study of international relations. The School offers degree programs in international affairs and is named in honor of its founder and first dean, Josef Korbel.

 

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Child-Friendly Spaces are programs that support the well-being of children during emergencies. That can encompass risks of all kinds: conflict, natural disaster, or potentially exploitative situations.

Here are five places where World Vision’s Child-Friendly Spaces and the staff who run them are helping vulnerable children.

Child-Friendly Space in Bangladesh

More than 2,300 Myanmar refugee children in Burmapara, Bangladesh, regularly attend World Vision’s Child-Friendly Spaces. They get the opportunity to express themselves, learn, and play with other children in sessions led by trained facilitators. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Annila Harris)

World Vision also facilitates Women and Young Children Friendly Spaces (WYCFS) in Burmapara. These spaces cater to the needs of pregnant and lactating mothers and children under five. Trained facilitators screen little ones, including 1-year-old Shahera, for malnutrition. Shahera was found to be underweight. Her mother received a referral note from WYCFS staff for one of the nearby health centers, where Shahera was given nutrition packets and placed on a feeding plan. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Annila Harris)

Child-Friendly Space in the Central Africa Republic

Staff lead children in a boisterous song at a Child-Friendly Space in one of the sub-prefectures of Damara, Central African Republic.

World Vision’s Child-Friendly Spaces in this area are also Peace Clubs. The clubs were launched in 2014 to help children — including demobilized soldiers — cope with the impacts of conflict, build social cohesion and peace-building efforts, and provide children with a safe place to play and congregate. World Vision provided play materials and playground equipment to each of the child-friendly peace clubs. (©2018 World Vision/photo by Corey Scarrow)

Child-Friendly Spaces for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Teacher Rita Cholakian plays games with her young students at World Vision’s early childhood education center. This UNICEF-funded and World Vision-started project reaches about 200 refugee children from ages 3 to 6 with educational activities that prepare them for formal schooling. In colorfully decorated classrooms staffed by attentive teachers and assistants, the kids learn basics in Arabic and English — numbers, days of the week, months, seasons, colors. They also learn good hygiene practices, problem-solving, and social skills. They sing, do art projects, play outside, and eat snacks.

Although the children are too young to remember Syria and Iraq, many are exposed to deprivation and violence in the informal tent settlement, and some of them have experienced child labor. The center is an oasis of fun, affirmation, and learning. (©2017 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

Child-Friendly Spaces in South Sudan

Soccer is only one of the activities organized by World Vision staff at Child-Friendly Spaces in South Sudan. The sport gives youth like Dina an opportunity to set aside the stress of their experiences and focus on being a kid again.

“I feel like football has made me stronger,” says 18-year-old Dina. “Football makes me the happiest. When I play, I don’t think about anything else, I just concentrate. When I go to school, I can concentrate better too.” (©2018 World Vision/photo by Mark Nonkes)

Child-Friendly Spaces in Uganda

South Sudanese children from World Vision’s Child-Friendly Space in Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement act silly after drawing their dreams inside the classroom. Apartial an online community of artists partnered with World Vision to enable children living in the settlement to tell their stories through art. (©2017 Oscar Durand for World Vision) 

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Children are a precious gift from God. As adults, we have the privilege and responsibility to care for them and help them live the full and abundant life God desires for them. Sadly, love and security are not the reality for hundreds of millions of children who suffer from sexual exploitation, labor in hazardous conditions, or struggle to survive on the streets.

In some places, warfare can separate children from their families, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation. Children are also forced to join armed rebel groups to serve as soldiers, porters, sex slaves, and more. Extreme drought and hunger force families to make desperate choices about putting children to work or girls into child marriage.

Despite being outlawed in many countries, girls are still undergoing female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C), and some girls aren’t born at all because of prenatal sex selection. In other places, children are trafficked for sex, sent to work in dangerous factories, or locked into domestic servitude. And in some countries — the U.S. included — gang violence tears families apart and creates a culture of violence that draws youth into harmful activities.

Abuse, neglect, exploitation, child labor, bodily harm and female genital mutilation, child marriage, and other forms of harm against children — even murder and child sacrifice — are among the greatest evils in the world.

I was in prison and you came to visit me.—Matthew 25:36 (NIV)

One warm Wednesday in June 2010, 15-year-old Savoeun Chea went to work in Leuk Daek in southeastern Cambodia. Her hands clutched a small bag containing items she had been instructed to bring: her clothes and her older sister’s birth certificate.

At the factory that morning, Savoeun’s sister, Simean, was the first to notice. “I did not see her working,” says Simean, 21. “I asked where she was. People told me that she’d gone to work in Malaysia. I called my family.”

In making that call, Simean set in motion a Cambodian-style Amber Alert. Savoeun’s family, friends, local officials, coworkers, the police, community members, and the children of two villages joined in a singular task: bringing Savoeun home — alive.

Another girl had been taken before in Leuk Daek. “This case happened before [I started,]” says Louy Samnang, who joined Leuk Daek’s police force in 1999. The girl was raped and killed. Community members admit no action was taken because back then, no one knew what to do.

But this time, when Savoeun disappeared, the community sprang into action because they knew how to respond. And this time, it worked. Mayor Chrin Voeurn provides one reason Savoeun survived: “Our commune has World Vision.”

Now safely back home in Leuk Daek, the community surrounded Savoeun. She was treated at the hospital for what appeared to be drug-induced memory loss. She spent many days in hiding, but eventually became well enough to work again.

Savoeun, now 17, is working as a waitress in a province in northeast Cambodia. She is concerned for her younger sister, Srey Keo, who is 11. “I tell her to study hard. I tell her not to travel to a faraway place or she could be trafficked.

“I will protect my younger sister,” she says. And the people of Leuk Daek are standing by to help.

Join us in prayer for an end to all harm against children, for the children who remain trapped in this nightmare, and for World Vision’s work to protect children.

Pray for supernatural protection for children.

The criminals who exploit children roam the world like the predators they truly are, looking to prey upon the vulnerable. They use lies, threats, coercion, and violence to force children into sexual and other kinds of exploitation. This is an evil business of supply and demand. Ask God to eliminate the demand and blind their eyes from seeing potential “supply” in their paths.

Dear Lord, Your Word is filled with accounts of miraculous protection. We claim that power for vulnerable children. Make Your little ones invisible to people who seek to exploit them. Whisper in the ears of the children to run and hide until the danger passes.

“Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” —Psalm 82:3-4 (NIV)

Child labor and exploitation, FGM, and human trafficking are among the greatest evils in the world. Pray with us for an end to all harms against children.
Tarikul Islam wishes he could go to school like the other kids in his community in Bangladesh, but today the 14-year-old has been working for five years at an auto shop and forgotten everything he has learned in school. He works for about 12 to 14 hours a day and makes about US$25 a month to help support his family. His mom works 14 hours a day as a domestic laborer to earn US$12.50 a month. Islam has been attending World Vision’s Khulna Child-Friendly Learning and Recreation Center for about 10 days. He hopes to learn how to read and write and do basic math so he can one day have his own auto shop. If he can learn those things and get about three to four more years of training, he could make about US$437 a month, and that’s his goal. (©2017 World Vision/photo by Laura Reinhardt)

Pray for the safety of children working in hazardous conditions.

Worldwide, 151 million children are involved in child labor. Of these, 72.5 million are involved in the worst forms of child labor, including mining, construction, scavenging, domestic and factory work, and agriculture. Hazardous conditions endanger children’s health, safety, and moral development. Ask God to keep children from harm as they struggle under heavy loads and work with unsafe tools and harsh chemicals.

Lord, we know You love Your children, and we pray that when they must work, that You would protect their growing bodies. Please keep them safe and free of injuries and toxins. Deliver them from oppressive bosses and hazardous conditions. Make it possible from children at risk to stay in school.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” —Psalm 46:1 (NIV)

Pray to eradicate the root causes of child exploitation.

Child exploitation means using a child for profit, labor, sexual gratification, or for some other personal or financial advantage. At the heart of child exploitation are complex issues, including extreme poverty that can lead parents to sell their children. Sometimes moms and dads are tricked into believing that their children will work in a wealthy person’s home and will be treated fairly. But many are held as virtual slaves. Throughout the world, sin leads people to put their evil desires above all else, ignoring how they destroy the lives of innocent children. Ask God to do what only He can — soften people’s hearts and heal their minds.

Dear Lord, Your Word calls us to hunger and thirst for righteousness — a righteousness that leads to compassion for the poor and a renewing of minds. Lead us to this kind of faith that works to make a better world for all Your children.

“You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted … so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror.” —Psalm 10:17-18 (NIV)

Child labor and exploitation, FGM, and human trafficking are among the greatest evils in the world. Pray with us for an end to all harms against children.
Sonali, which means golden, plays at the World Vision Hat Khola Child-Friendly Space almost every day. Her mother, Reshma (*name changed to protect privacy), is a sex worker. Reshma came to the Hat Khola Brothel in Jessore, Bangladesh, when she was just 10 years old. “I loved a boy who brought me here,” she says. The boy, Mustafa, left her at the brothel. Now in her 30s, Reshma has worked here for most of her life. “I am working hard in the brothel for my children’s education,” she says. “It is their way to a better life.” (©2014 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Pray for an end to child labor.

Child labor can be fought at many levels — governments can enact or strengthen laws around human trafficking and labor; corporations can ensure that children are not exploited along their supply chains; communities can take greater responsibility for collectively protecting children; families can value their children’s well-being above economics. Pray for the power of God’s love to counter greed and desperation to change the hearts of people who can create better circumstances for children.

Lord, You are our provider, and we know all good things come from Your hand. Help families to find reliable incomes so children don’t have to work. Let laws and cultural practices protect children from a childhood of abuse and suffering.

“‘Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan, I will now arise,’ says the LORD. ‘I will protect them from those who malign them.’” —Psalm 12:5 (NIV)

Pray for an end to human trafficking.

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. Nearly 25 million people worldwide are being trafficked for the sex trade, forced labor, and other illegal purposes. And evidence from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime suggests that more than 20 percent of all people trafficked are children. Many are sold into prostitution to pay off family debts or abducted from the streets and forced to work in brothels. Children who escape or are rescued face a difficult physical and emotional recovery process.

Dear God, there are times when it is right — and righteous — to be angry. It is right to be angry about people who exploit children. Let that righteous anger fuel action, Lord. Don’t let it fade into complacency.

“Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless.” —Psalm 10:12 (NIV)

Child labor and exploitation, FGM, and human trafficking are among the greatest evils in the world. Pray with us for an end to all harms against children.
On a bright December day, songs, dances, and shouts of joy sounded from a field on St. Catherine’s Secondary School campus. The girls’ boarding school hosted 330 girls and 170 boys in Kenya’s West Pokot County. Family members, government officials, teachers, and religious leaders cheered and celebrated the teens during the alternative rite of passage, a positive substitution for female genital mutilation and cutting. (©2016 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Pray for an end to female genital mutilation (FGM) and cutting.

Female genital mutilation, also known as cutting or female circumcision, is the removal of part or all the female genitalia for nonmedical reasons. This traditional rite of passage initiates girls into adulthood and, ultimately, readies her for child marriage — despite FGM and cutting being outlawed in many countries worldwide.

Done with a razor blade or knife — often with no anesthesia and no disinfectant — FGM and cutting can cause severe pain, bleeding, and swelling that may prevent passing urine or feces. Though the scars may heal, the horror of the event — including being physically restrained — can affect a young girl for years. And FGM can also cause chronic pain and infections for the rest of her life.

World Vision and other organizations are educating and empowering girls and their communities to end FGM, often substituting positive rites of passage for teen girls and boys.

Lord God, help families that practice FGM see its damaging effects on girls and young women. Motivate these families to turn away from inhumane practices, and protect their female children from all forms of harm, including FGM. Lay a hand of protection over girls at risk of FGM and cutting.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made …” —Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

Pray for an end to child marriage.

In developing countries, one-third of girls are forced to marry before their 18th birthday. Fear of premarital pregnancy, rape, hunger, homelessness, and harmful traditional practices are all drivers of child marriage. Girls will also marry because of threats and coercion. Of the 25 countries with the highest rates of child marriage, the majority are affected by conflict, fragility, or natural disasters.

Girls trapped in child marriage tend to be poor, under-educated, and live in rural areas where birth and death rates are high and conflict is common. They are more likely to experience domestic violence, forced sexual relations, and poor reproductive health.

World Vision helps organize local leaders, parents, educators, law enforcement, and social services to support girls in pursuing education and avoiding child marriage. And World Vision children’s clubs empower girls with information, particularly on child rights and healthy physical development.

Lord, we echo the psalmist’s confidence that You will deliver those who cry out to You for help. See to the needs of precious girls and boys vulnerable to child marriage or already trapped in its grasp. Hear and answer their cries for help. May cultures where child marriage is accepted and encouraged learn of the harm it causes to children and change these societies.

“For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.” —Psalm 72:12 (NIV)

Child sacrifice, child labor and exploitation, FGM, and human trafficking are among the greatest evils in the world. Pray with us for an end to all harms against children.
Juliet Nabirye, 26, with her son, 2-year-old Junior Kisule, who was saved from child sacrifice through World Vision’s Amber Alert-style program in Uganda. Juliet was ecstatic when she was reunited with her son. “It was the happiest time of my life,” she says. Obed Byamugisha, who works as a child protection and development facilitator for World Vision in Uganda, says poverty has led to child sacrifice in Mukono District. “People believe in witchcraft as a way of reviving their fortunes and getting money to boost the family income,” he says. There are witchdoctors who demand children — perfect children, usually between the ages of 2 and 15. But Junior was saved from his abductor because of World Vision’s program. “If a life is saved, there’s no greater good than that,” says Obed. (©2014 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

Pray for an end to child sacrifice.

Child sacrifice is an abomination. In certain districts of Uganda, witchdoctors convince people desperate for money, to bear children, or to rid their bodies of disease that only a child’s body part, such as the head, the fingers, or the private parts — mixed with traditional medicine — will cure the problem. Ritual demands that the parts be removed while the child is still alive and conscious. World Vision’s Amber Alert-style program is taking on child sacrifice in Uganda.

Father, protect Your children from abductors who prey on the most vulnerable. Bless the radical partnership between leaders of all faiths, law enforcement, traditional healers, and communities to stop child sacrifice once and for all. Comfort grieving parents in their time of unimaginable loss.

“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.” —Proverbs 24:11 (NIV)

Pray for an end to gang violence.

Drug trafficking, gang activity, easy access to guns, and ineffective justice systems have contributed to high levels of crime and violence in Central America and urban areas worldwide. Even people living in small towns fear being robbed, threatened, extorted, or kidnapped. Of the top 50 most violent cities in the world, 42 are in the Latin America/Caribbean region. Pray for World Vision’s work, which helps young people find their identity in Christ — not gangs — and teaches them vocational skills so they can better resist the temptation of easy money from criminal activities.

Lord, chaos and fear cripple communities overrun by gang violence. Thank You so much for the gift of Your Son. Through Him, we truly become a new creation. We claim Jesus’ blessing for peacemakers in Matthew 5:9. Help young people see themselves the way You see them, so they can help bring peace and hope to other people’s lives.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” —Matthew 5:9 (NIV)

Child labor and exploitation, FGM, and human trafficking are among the greatest evils in the world. Pray with us for an end to all harms against children.
Children from the Old Jothiammal Slum express their joy at a World Vision Child-Friendly Space in Chennai, India. While there, kids are absorbed in fun, laughter, and games to help recover from the grief they experienced after the floods in Chennai. When a disaster strikes, World Vision helps to identify children separated from their families, provides psychosocial support, and operates Child-Friendly Spaces — safe havens for children where they can play, draw, sing, share their feelings, and engage in educational activities. This helps kids regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. (©2015 World Vision/photo by Mahima Sash)

Pray for all eyes to be opened about child exploitation.

Child exploitation isn’t only a problem “somewhere else.” It’s an issue everywhere, including the most developed countries and all 50 states in the U.S. Anyone can be exploited or trafficked, regardless of race, class, education, gender, age, or citizenship. Ask God to open the hearts and minds of people everywhere to recognize the signs of child exploitation and give them the courage to take a stand for protection.

Dear Lord, Your Word tells us that it is a sin to do nothing when it’s in our power to help someone in need. Help us to speak out against crimes against children. Prod us to act whenever we suspect that a child is in danger. Don’t stop prompting us until we do the right thing.

“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed …” —Isaiah 1:17 (NIV)

Pray for World Vision’s work to protect children.

Inspired by World Vision founder Bob Pierce’s prayer, “Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God,” World Vision works to protect children from all forms of harm. This includes preventing children from being trapped in abusive circumstances; protecting children with shelter and healthcare; and restoring children through life-skills training, education, and reintegration with families. Pray for strength and courage for staff at the forefront of this work and for World Vision’s fundraising efforts to help even more children.

Prince of Peace, You know the challenges our brothers and sisters face in helping people and working for peace. We ask that You give grace to World Vision’s staff to fulfill the responsibilities You’ve placed in their hands. Thank You for empowering them to be Your hands and feet.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” —Galatians 6:9 (NIV)

 

Kari Costanza, Chris Huber, Denise C. Koenig, and Kathryn Reid of World Vision’s staff in the U.S. contributed to this story.

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World Vision believes every child deserves the chance to reach their God-given potential. More than 1 billion people around the world have some form of disability — many of them children. Some have been affected by congenital diseases or malnutrition. Others have been disabled by war or conflict and other dangers such as infectious diseases.

In developing countries, children with disabilities are often unable to attend school, play outside, communicate, be included in the community, or get access to specialized resources and care. Negative stigma or superstition among their parents, neighbors, and community leaders cause or reinforce these barriers. Children in these situations can become isolated, lonely, and may have little hope for the future.

World Vision seeks to address these barriers by ensuring children have equal access to healthcare and educational opportunities, helping children have a voice in community affairs, and sensitizing their parents and community leaders to help eliminate stigma toward children with disabilities.

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’—Matthew 25:40, NIV

For most of Tamasha’s life, she could not sit up by herself and was always lying down. Born with disabilities in her arms and legs, her life in Malawi wasn’t easy. Her mother, Emily, says it was difficult to make sure someone was always watching and caring for her.

When Tamasha turned 5, Emily tried to send her to a nearby kindergarten. However, the family was not able to accommodate Tamasha’s special needs at school all day.

So Tamasha, now 7, has never been able to attend school, and she has spent a lot of time indoors alone.

“It pained me as a mother knowing that her absence from school meant that her future was doomed,” Emily says.

In July 2017, World Vision and Wheelchairs 4 Kids provided wheelchairs to Tamasha and other children with disabilities in her area. Emily was so relieved. It changed their family’s world, Emily says.

Tamasha has since been able to enroll in school because the wheelchair allows her to sit up on her own. Emily, who works alongside her husband to cultivate maize and beans on their small farm, no longer has to carry Tamasha when she does chores or walks to get water. And best of all, Tamasha can play outside with her friends now.

“I am relieved and I sometimes shed tears of joy whenever I see my child playing with friends,” Emily says.

As followers of Jesus, we are called to seek out and care for the most vulnerable among us — people like Farhad. Start this journey by joining us in prayer for children with disabilities around the world.

Pray for children with disabilities to be included.

Children with disabilities often face discrimination, bullying, neglect, abuse, and violence. But they have God-given gifts that are often overlooked. World Vision’s work in disability inclusion spans everything we do. We envision children living with disabilities afforded the same access to healthcare, education, government services, and overall dignity as every other child in their community. We treat them with dignity and respect in our day-to-day programming, advocate for their rights, and provide disability awareness training to parents, caregivers, and local leaders to eliminate stigma.

Lord, help children with disabilities know they are loved and they matter to You and the world. Through Your Spirit, help workers train parents and community leaders to walk in humility to eliminate destructive stigma toward people with disabilities. May children with disabilities be afforded improved access to basic services, healthcare, and education.

“… Invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. …” —Luke 14:13-14 (NIV)

Pray for improved access to medical care.

Globally, as many as 500,000 children are visually impaired each year due to vitamin A deficiency. And few people with disabilities in developing countries have access to rehabilitation. As many as 80 percent could have their needs met within their community. But medical treatment costs can be prohibitive or altogether inaccessible for people living in extreme poverty.

Stigma and shame among caregivers can also cause them to try and hide issues their children may be experiencing, often making their health situation worse. World Vision partners with specialized organizations like Operation Smile to provide dental, medical, and other healthcare support. Our trainers and staff listen to community members when they candidly raise concerns about families in their communities and respond as appropriate to look out for children’s well-being.

Lord, our hearts ache for children with disabilities who lack access to care or whose families who cannot afford therapy or treatment. Spur national officials and healthcare professionals to create policies and develop systems that provide quality, affordable, accessible care. Soften the hearts of parents and caregivers hardened by stigma and shame so their children can be adequately cared for.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” —Psalm 147:3 (NIV)

Pray for access to quality education.

While 91 percent of girls and boys attend elementary school globally, as few as 10 percent of children with disabilities attend school. And only about 3 in 100 people with disabilities worldwide can read and write. This lack of access to learning opportunities presents a significant barrier to the well-being and future earning potential of a child with a disability. World Vision works to build safer schools and latrines accessible to children with disabilities. We also collaborate with and empowers community-based organizations to find local ways to help vulnerable children access a quality education. We also work to build safer, more accessible schools, for example in places recovering from a major disaster.

Lord, in Your mercy, You have afforded some children with disabilities an opportunity to receive the remedial classes and other services through World Vision programs around the world. Change leaders’ hearts and laws so they will seek ways to provide learning opportunities for children with disabilities whose families can’t afford school fees or do not have access to a school nearby.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” —Proverbs 1:7 (NIV)

Pray for parents and caregivers as they care for children with disabilities.

More than 80 percent of people with disabilities in developing countries live below the poverty line, according to the European Commission. Parents, siblings, and sometimes friends or extended family members are the ones committed to caring for children with disabilities. World Vision provides training to parents and caregivers to transform attitudes toward children with disabilities. This helps them improve their relationships and learn how to nurture their children emotionally and spiritually and find ways for them to participate in society.   

Lord of all, we lift up parents and caregivers of children with disabilities. Refresh them. Give them strength to press on each day. For families living in poverty, lead them to economic opportunities to provide each member with the resources to survive and thrive.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven … Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” —Matthew 5:3, 5 (NIV)

Pray for children with disabilities to experience God’s love.

Living with a disability in extreme poverty threatens to rob children and families of the full life Jesus promises us, as well as their hope for the future. God’s love restores hope and brings life to our bones. Our trainings, advocacy, and overall efforts to include children with disabilities in community life aim to make Jesus known and love people as He first loves us.

Lord, thank You for creating every child. Please equip World Vision staff, community leaders, families, and Your followers as they support children with disabilities, and encourage them. May they experience Your deep love every day.

“The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” —Psalm 33:5 (NIV)

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This post was originally published on this site

Looking for awesome Father’s Day gift ideas? If you’re wondering what to get your dad, you’ve found the right place. You won’t find any ties, cuff links, or funny golf T-shirts on this list! (Nothing against funny T-shirts.)

But what do you get for the dad who already has everything he needs? Or the guy who would give you the shirt off his back? Here’s an idea: Give your dad a Father’s Day gift that represents his generosity and helpfulness. Some of these gifts help to empower dads in developing countries to become better providers. Some gifts help protect and care for children in need. All of these gift ideas will honor your dad and pay it forward (while giving back).

Father’s Day gifts that pay it forward

For dads who love the outdoors:

  • Teach a man to fish. Literally. For $75, you’ll help a dad feed and provide for his family for years to come. Give a fishing kit >
  • Help a struggling family with the tools, seeds, and training they need to grow their own nutritious food. Give tools, seeds, and training >

For the disaster preparedness fanatic:

  • Donate a relief bed in your dad’s honor for $85 and provide a portable, durable, self-inflating mattress and pillow for someone who’s just come through a disaster. Give a Relief Bed >
  • Give a sustainable, solar-powered lantern (starting at $20) and help provide four hours of light after the sun goes down. Give a solar-powered lantern >

For dads who value health:

  • Imagine not having access to basic medicines and supplies. Equip a health worker to care for those in need. Equip a health care worker >
  • Ship and deliver a custom-fit wheelchair for a child with disabilities for only $50. Give a wheelchair >

For the sports fanatic:

  • Thanks to matching donations, your gift doubles to send twice the amount of soccer balls and twice the fun for children in developing countries. Give soccer balls >

For the musician:

  • Children who learn the arts do better in school. Provide things like musical instruments, art supplies, instruction, and more for children in extreme poverty. Give art and music >

For the dad who values a good education:

  • Help break the cycle of poverty by supporting education for children in low-income countries. Give education >

Pray for dads around the world on Father’s Day

So many dads want to give a better life to their kids. Pray for fathers around the world, especially those in developing countries who struggle to provide for their families even though they desperately want to.

May God the Father be their Provider, encouraging and equipping them to be loving, protecting, compassionate, nurturing, patient providers for their families. May God empower them to be forces for good and change agents in their families and communities.

Father's Day gift ideas that pay it forward (hint: it's not a tie)

The post Father’s Day gift ideas that pay it forward appeared first on World Vision.