Disheartening facts came to the team before we left for this trip. It was when realized just what we were getting ourselves into. We learned stagering statistics like: There are 300,000 TO 500,000 girl children are in commercial sex & organized prostitution. And that Mumbai alone is the home to 100,000 sex workers, the largest sex industry centre in Asia.
Our main purpose of this outreach was to work with a woman named Vera. Her story in itself is very inspiring. She is originally from Mumbai (actually grew up just one street over from the red light district). Her family left Mumbai when she was about 22. They came to America where Vera receive her college degree in Micro Biology. Soon after she turned to the mission field joining the ranks of YWAMers all over the world. She became good friends with our base leader here in Germany, Jan, who is also a photographer and has a huge passion for work in the red light. Through him she found out about the area new her childhood home. She was in disbelief. After visiting it herself, she decided that something had to change. She is now the project Manager in Mumbai running a childrens home for 9 girls from the red light area. They are all daughters or orphans of mothers in prostitution.
We got the chance to hang out with the girls at the mall and took them to see G-Force. Yes, a movie about talking, crime fighting guinea pigs. It was great. The girls all have such amazing personalities, full of life and of hope.
Our team has since committed to working with Vera long term to see to it that these girls do not have to return to lived in the light. Our other hope is to see their mothers get out of the work they are in.
We spent a few days throughout the weeks discussing business plans and ideas to get these women jobs and a support group to help them spiritually as well as emotionally. At the moment, it looks like we are going to be able to start receiving funds to start a second-hand shop for the women the work in. Thrift stores are a new concept in India and when we introduced the idea to several nuns working along side our team, they were quite excited. Vera also has tons of open doors with students at local universities who want to help in any way they can.
I will definitely have more updates on this project as it comes in!
Oh, and I took up jewelery making! The girls have a teacher that come inonce a week to train them in making amaaazing pieces.
I was inspired...
and my favorite
But thankfully the girls creations are better than mine :)
to see some of their work, go to isanctuary.org