Saturday, May 1, 2010
Women and children who are sold into slavery struggle to be noticed or heard. But about 1,000 Seattle runners listened on Saturday. They took a stand by participating in World Concern's "Free Them" 5k run and walk, held at the CRISTA campus in Shoreline.
The 5k run raised about $80,000 to protect children in high-risk situations. More than 1 million people are trafficked every year.
"People are trafficked at the intersection of poverty and greed," said World Concern donor relations director Jacinta Tegman. "The runners out here today are making a statement and they are making a difference."
Christian humanitarian organization World Concern works to protect vulnerable women and children from being trafficked in SE Asia. Its programs include safety training within villages, job development, and care for those who have been victimized.
Police officer Rickie Anders ran in the 5k and knows that prosecution for trafficking is rare, especially in the developing world.
"It's just a crime and people need to be talking about it," says Anders. "People have always put a price tag on other people, and it just has to stop."
Women and children who are trafficked are treated as property, sold for a price, and used as laborers or sex workers. Often the victims of trafficking are children who are seeking a better life in another country. Traffickers will promise women and children that good jobs await, but in the end, the victims find that the promises were all lies.
Every year, World Concern helps lift people out of poverty through activities including microfinance, agriculture, disaster response and small business development. World Concern works with the poor in 24 countries, with the goal of transforming the lives of those we touch, leading them on a path to self-sustainability.
Worldwide, World Concern offers life, opportunity and hope to more than six million people. World Concern is part of the CRISTA family of ministries.
Learn more at the website.
Photos by Derek Sciba