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. We believe that education is the single best trafficking prevention tool. Therefore, WHC is beginning an initiative designed to provide lifeskill training and education to 16 year olds before they leave the orphanage. This educational program will work with the local Odessa city government and is designed to achieve three goals: #1: Warn of the dangers and how to avoid them. #2: Provide the tools (lifeskills training and vocational counselling) necessary to get established. #3: Design and implement a foster care style system to assist children once aged out of orphanages. All this will be done through WHC and its local partner organization, World Hope Ukraine, both motivated by faith that knowing and showing God’s love is critical for the ultimate well being of every individual.
WHC is hoping to raise $437,000 USD through giving and grants to establish and then begin replicating this training and educational program and abolish the human trafficking of 16 year olds in Ukraine. We want to help them do so and we hope you will as well.
At this time your gift designated “Freedom Tour” will enable WHC to receive funds which will be matched at the rate of 3 to 1. In effect that makes a $100.00 donation turn into a $400.00 donation. This grant is substantial in that it is over $300,000.00! This is an amazing provision and I think that you will agree that it makes giving joyfully much easier.We have been told that anyone can be an abolitionist. No matter your age or standing in this world, you can do something to prevent human trafficking and this modern day slavery. That is what we are trying to do on this bike tour in raising awareness and resources to help.
The exploitation of human beings - especially children - is vile and inexcusable. Human exploitation is also our burden, our responsibility and our problem to fix. Join us today as we help to protect the vulnerable and care for the exploited.
Visit our Giving page to find out how you can support this cause through the relief organization World Hope Canada . When you give be sure to write in the comment section “WHC - Freedom Tour” to direct your gift to the work in Ukraine.
|Todd Glendenning||Bill Graves|