My family, biological and adopted, are currently living in various places around the world. And so it always amazes me when one of us has an experience which connects to an experience of another.
Case in point....
My mom is an avid reader and she passes on her books to others. So when she finished reading The Road of Lost Innoncence by Somaly Mam, she promptly passed it on to me. Somaly Mam grew up in Cambodia being passed around from person to person. She was an outcast in her community and eventually sold as a child sex slave. Her story is not unusual in that part of the world. Her haunting book chronicles in horrific detail the life that so many young children live and the detachment the rest of society feels for these children. She writes about corruption and the kidnapping of her child in retaliation for the role she plays in rescuing these young children. Even though she has received international acclaim for her work, her organization still struggles to pay the bills. She won't turn away a single girl but she has had to shut down some of her facilities because of lack of funds.
My daughter is currently living in Thailand, a place most consider the center of the sex tourism trade. She is working with mentally and physically disabled children who are living in government run orphanages. As depressing as their future may be, it is certainly a much better alternative than being sold into sex slavery, which is quite common for children in their situation.
My son has a passion for playing music. He and his band recently played at a coffee house doing a fund raiser for Freedom 4/24. It is a ministry that tries to rescue women caught in the sex slave trade in Thailand. This organization buys the women for $24 which gives them 24 hours of freedom. In this time, they tell the girls about an alternative life style and what they can do to help them leave this life. They give them a place to hang out and just be girls for a night.
My youngest daughter had to do a media project for English. She chose childhood slavery and in particular, sex slavery. I wish I could show her final result. Her pictures and quotes are tragic and haunting.
I don't how this awareness of the sex industry around the world will affect our family long term. I do know that as a mother, I am eternally grateful that I don't have to make that choice between survival and selling my body or my daughters' bodies. I am thankful for the privilage of plenty. During this season of plenty and gluttony leading up to Christmas, I pray that we are able to enjoy our lives and yet still live responsibly.
1 day ago