- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.fBBcEurs.dpuf Casa de Sion: May 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Maria del Carmen

We were lucky enough to receive a years supply of meals from Kids Against Hunger (http://www.kidsagainsthunger.org/).  They provide pre-packaged meals stocked full of vitamins and everything else good for kids's bodies.  They are packaged here in the US and shipped down.  Usually to get these meals money is raised and good people get together and package them.  But, we begged and now we have meals for Nueva Victoria and a new community, Maria del Carmen.

We started the feeding program in Maria del Carmen two weeks ago.  We have 160 kids in our program.  We have this feeding program set up like the ones in Los Robles and Nueva Victoria; we feed the kids lunch 3x/week (we still supplement the meals with extra veggies and some chicken).

The moms in the community take turns cooking and serving the kids.  And of course the kids help with the clean-up. 

With the feeding program we were able to start a the tutorial program as well.  We love our teachers from Nueva Victoria and now they will be teaching the students in Maria del Carmen as well--this now provides both men with much needed full-time employment (Nueva Victoria is just part time).  And because we received a years supply of meals for Nueva Victoria we were able to take the money we were using to feed Nueva Victoria kids to pay for the teacher's salary and to start the Mother's and Toddlers program in Chuti-Estancia.  We are so excited about this growth and ability to help more people.

If anyone is looking for a project, we still have 23 more communities that are baldly in need of these feeding programs.  Kids Against Hunger has packing facilities all over the United States.  It would make a great Eagle Scout, youth or family project to raise the money and then go pack the meals.  Check out their website and please let me know if you have any questions. 

From Sex Trafficked Child To Child Advocate; Introduction

I promised this story would be told. I have waited to tell it my whole life, but fear has kept it inside. At first it was fear that my traffickers would find out and punish me for telling like they had promised. Then it was fear that J.Q. Public would not want to hear it and punish me for telling. But it is my story and for the safety of our children, it needs to be told. Trafficking of children does exist. It existed 60 years ago when I was a child. Here is the first blog. There will be a new published here each Tuesday until the story is told. My husband wrote it, but my words are in italics.

This story has been a long time coming, primarily because we have had to mature and gain perspective on something so out of the ordinary that it boggles the mind.    This is a synopsis of a struggle it has taken years to digest and then comprehend and finally gain the understanding that we presently have.   And this perspective, too, may change further over time.

To be used as a child prostitute at the tender age of 9 and 10 and in kiddie porn throughout your childhood does something to the brain that is hard to undo.  I, Vicki, thought the rest of the world was living a “Brady Bunch” type life while I was caught in a hell that was mostly “how am I going to survive this next hour?”  My parents presented as normal functioning people. They were both college educated and my dad was a military man.  We lived in middle to upper middle class homes and spent summer afternoons at the pool. I was a Girl Scout and an honor roll student by day, but at night and on many weekends I was taken by my father to his little “parties” with his friends.  The PTSD I suffer now from what I went thru is difficult on a day to day basis.  For instance, most pictures of me show the haunted, terrified look in my eye of the little child who is being photographed in a porn show.

I hope by telling this story that three things will be accomplished.  One, I know it will help my personal healing to speak out to a general audience.  This produces a certain kind of validation that is cleansing.    Two, I want to help people, who live in the USA, understand that between 200,000 and 300,000 children domestically are being used in the commercial child sex trade each year.  This is a national tragedy and sadly not a well-known one.  We all lose when this amount of innocence is robbed from our children.  And I can’t help but think that we are all accountable—if only by our ignorance or inaction. And third, I would like for my own children to better understand what’s behind my PTSD and to more graciously accept it and forgive the lack of normalcy it created in their lives.  And maybe—just maybe—they might even understand that they, like myself, have developed a greater capacity for compassion because of their experience.

This is “Human Trafficking Awareness” month.  Our story is meant to aid in understanding the dynamics of this kind of child abuse—both victim and perpetrator—and especially to give insight into the violence of this particular kind of abuse.  In the process of writing this—as you will see—it became obvious that sexual trafficking is one of the most violence of crimes against children.  It creates shame and darkens the soul more than almost any other type of human desecration. 

It should be understood that I, Jody, am telling the bulk of this story from my perspective.    Vicki is actively engaged with the writing and you will see her hand in italics.  She is much more of a talker than writer.  We both think the story is more understandable when narrated by someone with one foot inside her world and the other in everyone else’s world.  And I have one additional purpose:  to tell the story for its own sake.  It’s an incredible and fascinating story that I entitle “The Long Shadow of Darkness” because it invites you into an understanding of evil and its effects that I am sure is beyond your present ken.

If you would like to see the work we are involved with in Guatemala, visit our website at www.safehomesforchildren.org .  Our child advocacy work there is designed to keep families together which is the foremost deterrent to exploitation of children.   Vicki does public speaking on child trafficking in the States, and if you would like to you can make donations to Safe Homes and note its purpose.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Why there have been no blgos

We have been home from Guatemala now for 6 weeks. While down there I was sick most of the time. If it wasn't a major stomach issue, then it was bronchitis for a month and finally an allergy to the pine trees blooming in our new neighborhood. My eyes and head stayed swollen. And during the last month, we had teams almost constantly and it was a lot of work as well as fun. The people were great and I loved them, but it took a toll on my already fragile health.
When we get back to the states, my house needed attention.  I had paid it none for the last 3 months. Two daughters and a Dil were pregnant and needed attention and my grandkids needed to see their Granma. I had to go to Raleigh twice to pick up hugh amounts of donated clothes that we send to Guatemala [ thanks Karen ] and pay attention to our for-profit business that allows us not to take money from Safe Homes and gives a lot of money to the projects in Guatemala. We also have had to send daily emails to our staff in Guatemala and review the ones they send to us. A new budget had to be drawn up since we had added 2 more communities for feeding programs, but Kids Against Hunger was providing a good chunk of the food. So no blogs.
But I think the main thing going on is that I need to get more involved in the fight to stop child sex-trafficking.  Not all of you know that part of my background.  My childhood is so much of why I do the work I do in Guatemala. I know my story needs to be told:  a story of horrific abuse, but also as one of wonderful healing. So I have determined that even though fearful, I wll publish it here--in addition to the regular blogs of Guatemala. Because every time we save a child from Child Sex Trafficking, we give them a Safer Home. Least you think it does not happen in the USA: three hundred children a year are trafficked domestically. I am sure it is worse in Guatemala.