His sister’s keeper: Protecting kids from child sacrifice

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Yesterday, 6-year-old Trevor’s body was found in Uganda. He had been sacrificed by a witchdoctor. Our staff writer Kari is there in Uganda right now.

Pray with us for Trevor’s mother, and see how our Amber Alert program is working to bring children home when they’re abducted:

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When my son, Nick was 6, he began taking a school bus to his babysitter’s house after school. Thinking of Nick walking a block down the hill to Barb’s house frightened me. Until then, he’d walked everywhere with his dad and me, usually holding our hands.

“Nick,” I told him sternly, “When you get off that bus, you cross the street and run to Barb’s house. Do not look right. Do not look left. Do not talk to anyone you see on the way. Just run.”

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    Lured into marriage: A survivor’s story of being trafficked

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    Today is World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.

    Pyone is a survivor of human trafficking. After four years trapped in another country, today she is reunited with her family, working to support her daughter, and this past spring told her story so other young women might avoid her horrible experience.

    Read her story here.

    ***

    A neighbor persuades 30-year-old wife and young mother Pyone (her name has been changed to protect her identity) to work at a shop along the China-Myanmar border. When she arrives, she doesn’t find a shop, but a forced marriage.

    “She (the neighbor) told me that I would earn more money with a better job at her sister’s shop in Muse Township, which is in northern Shan state,” Pyone recalls.

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      UPDATE: Protection from child sacrifice—It’s working!

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      Two years ago we reported the story, “Protection Through Pierced Ears in Uganda,” about one of our most innovative programs—an Amber Alert designed to save children from being sacrificed in Uganda.

      Project manager Obed Byamugisha risks his life every day in a battle against witch doctors. Last month we got an update on the project and his personal life. See how communities in Uganda are working together to keep their children safe.

      ***

      I take Obed Byamugisha to a Panera in San Diego for his first breakfast sandwich. He’s made a trip to the United States to speak with World Vision donors about the incredible work of the Amber Alert project in Uganda. He sips tea while we talk.

      “The year you came, we lost nine children,” he says. Nine children—lost to child sacrifice.

      “Last year, we lost two,” he continues.

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        The hidden side of humanitarian crisis: Gender-based violence

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        During humanitarian crises like armed conflict and natural disasters, violence—especially against women and girls—has been shown to increase. This culture of violence can be one of the greatest challenges for people like refugees who are affected by crisis.

        In these situations, some parents marry their young daughters off early to protect them … but in reality, child marriage is just another form of this violence. Our gender expert explains:

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        Gender-based violence (GBV) crosses culture, economic status, and ethnicity. It occurs in every part of the world and happens in developed and developing countries, stable and fragile contexts, during war and in peacetime.

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          What do we know about preventing human trafficking?

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          If you knew the risks of human trafficking, would you still take those risks to provide for your family?

          New research suggests that people in Southeast Asia do. See these surprising results and how we can help prevent trafficking.

          ***

          Nang was in second grade when her mother passed away, and shortly thereafter her older sisters dropped out of school and migrated from her village in Laos to Thailand for work, leaving Nang at home alone with her father. When Nang reached 5th grade, she also planned to leave Laos for work abroad.

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            From despair at night to hope in the morning

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            Human traffickers prey upon the vulnerable.

            In Cambodia, where trafficking is common, see how education, food security, and improved economic opportunities are helping children and families know their rights and avoid being taken advantage of.

            ***

            One night, my husband was flipping through TV channels when I suddenly stopped him to ask him to go back to our local PBS station. After watching for a few minutes, I told him, “This looks like Cambodia.” I had just returned from a trip to Cambodia with World Vision only the week before, so the sights and sounds of that country were fresh in my mind.

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              Dreams from Kenya

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              Expected to marry at 12, Lillian in Kenya ran away and found hope through World Vision.

              Bestselling author Debbie Macomber met Lillian and heard her story "of amazing bravery and tenacity."

              Lillian has now graduated high school! Read her inspiring story.

              ***

              My fifteen-year-old granddaughter told me she wanted to be a doctor. Maddy was around eleven or twelve at the time. She made this announcement matter-of-factly, secure in the belief that she could be anything she chose to be. I explained that her grandpa and I had set up a college fund for her and that we would do all we could to help her achieve her goal. There's no doubt in my mind that Maddy will follow through and one day become a wonderful physician, astronaut, Broadway star, or anything else she might choose to be. Her future is set, her path paved.

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                Q&A: Hope at home in Honduras

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                Last summer, World Vision began responding to a crisis of unaccompanied children coming into the U.S. from Central American countries like Honduras.

                Why are these children leaving home?

                In today's Q&A, Matt Stephens—our senior advisor for child protection—answers this question and explores how World Vision is working to address the root causes of this crisis by promoting hope at home.

                ***

                Last summer, World Vision began responding to a crisis of unaccompanied children coming into the U.S. from Central American countries like Honduras. What are some of the root causes of this crisis? Why are these children leaving home?

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                  Day 13: Leaving no stone unturned

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                  At the age of 10, Subera in India was a child laborer, crushing stones by hand into construction material. It was her mother's same life: early marriage, no education, hard labor and poverty.

                  Today, Subera is 14 and in school, and on her way to a better future! See what broke her cycle of poverty and is helping make her big dreams come true.

                  ***

                  Clang, clang – stone against stone rhythmically resounds through the vast graveyard of rocks and silt that dominate the scenery, adding to the enigma of the Balason River region in India.

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                    Give thanks—part 2: Black Friday

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                    In his two-part Thanksgiving series, World Vision USA president Rich Stearns reflects on his recent trip to Bangladesh. Read Part 1 here.

                    On this trip, Rich met Reshma, who will be bought and sold a dozen times today, on Black Friday, as a sex worker.

                    Read about the two bright spots in her life, and how World Vision is working to help her.

                    ***

                    I love the day after Thanksgiving—for me it marks the beginning of the Christmas season and a reminder of the coming of our Savior. Of course, we also know this day as Black Friday, representing the start of a mad rush of buying and selling. I think most of us are disturbed on some level by the commercialization of Christmas. But after just getting back from Bangladesh, I can’t help but think of something much worse: the commercialization of human beings. 

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