Today, we're going to talk about an organization called As Our Own. According to their website,
There are 44 million vulnerable children living in India. Some live on the streets. Others are enslaved in brothels. Most are poor, hungry, and exploited. Hope is hard to come by.Yes—the magnitude is overwhelming, but that’s why we cannot sit still and why we cannot remain silent: Helping vulnerable children in their plight is our great calling.
As Our Own :: Overview from As Our Own on Vimeo.
Many of the girls that enter the sex trade don't do it because they want to. They do it unwillingly and are forced into it. 95% of girls born in the red light district become enslaved. And, because of the nature of the sex trade, the cycle of slavery continually repeats itself. These girls are raised in extreme poverty. They do not have a way out. Mothers are approached about their daughters from very young ages. While most of the mothers do not want their child to have to go what they are going through, they are trapped. There is not a way out.
"Life in the red-light districts of India is not typical. It’s a dangerous place to be—let alone work or live. Simply entering and exiting the area is a difficult and often risky endeavor. That’s why As Our Own is grateful to have a presence in the heart of this darkness. Miraculously, God has opened a door, connecting us to the mothers enslaved there. Our staff is actively present, rescuing the children from second- generation enslavement." As Our Own rescues girls from this extreme poverty. Mothers contact them about their child, and they become part of the family. These mothers do an extremely selfless thing to save their precious daughters.
The heartbreaking reality is that 95% of the girls born in the red-light districts of India will become enslaved there for life. They will live there and die there after a lifetime of neglect, abuse, exploitation, and enslavement. That is, unless someone rescues that little girl before she is sold.
For the first five years of Avishi’s life, it looked like she would follow this tragic pattern. She was born in the red-light district because her mom is enslaved there. They made their home in the basement of a seven-story brothel. It was dark and dreary and lifeless. This is no place for a child to grow up.
At 5 years old, Avishi was already approaching the age of sale into the trade. Children as young as 6 and 7 years old are being sought because of the myth that sex with child-virgins are a cure for AIDS. Avishi needed to get out of this treacherous situation before it was too late.
As Our Own staff connected with Avishi’s mom and shared how Avishi could grow up in a secure and safe environment. Recently, As Our Own staff orchestrated the rescue and brought Avishi out of the horrors in the red-light district. Since becoming part of the As Our Own family, her aptitude for learning has been nurtured and encouraged; she loves school and has become a top student earning high honors. She dreams of becoming a doctor—a dream that would have never been possible had she not been rescued from that brothel basement.
These girls are raised by As Our Own as if they were their own daughters. They are raised as part of a family, in a house safe from the sex trade. I think that this is something beautiful.
I Will Run: 10 Girls. 10 Stories. 10 Cities. (You have no idea how much I wish I was a runner so that I could do this.) They have chosen 10 half marathons in the next year and have a girl to represent each. This gives a reason to getting all hot and sweaty and gross! Choose a half marathon, join the team, and then raise awareness and funds. They ask each person to try and raise $750 for "their girl". Will you run for her?