The purpose of the “Freedom Tour” is to bike 1700 miles in 30 days (from Mobile, Alabama to our home in Western New York, following Adventure Cycling’s Underground Railroad Route), from June 3rd to July 3rd, 2010, to raise awareness and resources to help abolish Human Trafficking - the Modern Day Slavery. It is our hope to honor the history of the Underground Railroad by riding this route to help free today’s slaves.
We are being motivated by two compelling verses of scripture: Psalm 103:6, "The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed." And 2 Corinthians 3:17, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
There are more than 27 million human slaves in the world today. Men, women, and children are bought and sold, are forced into labor, commercial sex, forced combat, or other forms of exploitation.
In Ukraine when a child turns the age of 16 they are no longer eligible to stay in the state run orphanage. The 16 year old being released from orphanage care is particularly vulnerable. Without family support, financial support, education, a job, or the proper documents, they are released to the street. As a result, these young lives become invisible in this broken system. People, controlled by greed and with no sense of remorse, are lurking to take advantage of them by trafficking them for their own personal gain.
World Hope Canada (WHC) is doing something about this exploitation in Ukraine and is poised to do even more with our help. WHC's goal is to see Odessa become the safest city in Europe for children to grow up in. Currently WHC has established Hope House, a transition home for up to twelve young women. Living in a "family" setting they learn to relate to others and are provided basic lifeskill training and vocational education to help them get established in life after leaving orphanage care.
Yet this exploitation is a big problem and more must be done. Since Ukraine's independence, an estimated 120,000 young women have been trafficked from Ukraine, mostly for the sex trade.