On Saturday, all across the US, people took part in Traffick Jam 2011, a nationwide walk-a-thon aimed at helping to eradicate child sex trafficking in Southeast Asia. Funds raised from the walk will be used directly to help the projects that we are engaged in here in Cambodia. Our team, the Hard Places Community, is committed to working in areas where there is a high incidence of trafficking in order to help bring an end to the sale of young children.
As we mentioned in our previous post, we are currently running a Kid's Club at a park in the heart of Phnom Penh. Because of Kid's Club, we meet children who hang out at the park everyday and we are developing relationships with their families. This park is an area where it’s common to find pimps and prostitutes. It’s also an area men go to looking for young children. The kids are incredibly vulnerable to exploitation. Indeed, some have already been sold.
The Hard Places Community hopes to have a boys’ center close to the park where we are currently volunteering. There are many organizations here in Cambodia who are helping women and young girls who have been abused or trafficked. There is relatively little focus solely on young boys. The risk of a young boy being sold is just as great. With this center, we hope to provide a safe place for boys to go, where they can have practical needs met and find help and hope. The funds raised from Traffick Jam 2011 will help to make the boys’ center a reality.
In solidarity with those who walked in the States, we and our teammates walked across Phnom Penh on Saturday. We started at 5:00am in hopes of beating the worst of the heat. We started at our house and walked to the Independence Monument and then on to the park.
Thank you to those of you who helped to coordinate walks in your area! Thanks also to those of you who walked or supported those did. Together we will help bring child sex trafficking to a grinding halt! (For more information, you can check out the Traffick Jam website.)Here is a picture of our Cambodia team after our walk. We finished with breakfast together at a local restaurant.