Pete's Chastity for Charity!

by Pete Lynagh

Personal campaign Keep it all

In December 2009 Free To Shine's CEO, Nicky Mih, went to Cambodia to investigate what we could do to assist survivors of sex slavery. Nicky spent a month with more than 200 survivors. The approach and philosophy was not to rescue or fix but to ... See the whole story

$22,899

23% raised of $100k goal

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In December 2009 Free To Shine's CEO, Nicky Mih, went to Cambodia to investigate what we could do to assist survivors of sex slavery. Nicky spent a month with more than 200 survivors. The approach and philosophy was not to rescue or fix but to empower. What did they want? They wanted to end sex slavery. They wanted for survivors to be able to attend university so that they could become teachers, doctors and lawyers as they viewed these professions as being fundamental in ending sex slavery.

They also explained that when girls are rescued from the brothels the traffickers simply go out into the villages and take a new young girl. They wanted these girls to be protected. They believed that if these young girls were in school they would not be trafficked.

An estimated 945,000 children globally are currently being sold for sex.

Free To Shine provide scholarships to girls identified as high risk of being trafficked into the commercial sex industry.

The International Labour Organisation states that getting girls into school and keeping them there is vital in reducing their vulnerability to trafficking.

Free To Shine now have 73 girls enrolled on their scholarship program.

The villages these girls live in are among some of the poorest, with very small amounts of the tourist dollar reaching these rural communities. Most of Free To Shine's girls and their families live in small houses made of woven palm leaves, and raised a little off the ground. Some of the girls families own a plot of land on which they grow rice or vegetables. Others do not own any land and have nowhere they can grow crops. Mains electricity has not yet reached these communities, and some still pump water from wells, while others collect water from the dirty river. Sometimes they boil this before drinking, sometimes they don’t. A few have water filters which ensure safe drinking water, but most do not. Most families do not have toilets. Some of our girls mums have a unique form of basket weaving which they do from home while raising the children.

The range of work these children have been involved in varies from growing vegetables and harvesting rice, picking lotus pods, looking after nieces and nephews to enable older siblings to work, weaving baskets, collecting plastic to sell and even working in factories.

Several of the 73 girls on Free To Shine's scholarship program have either one or both parents who have died or have left them, are abusive, alcoholic, have HIV/AIDs or have been or still are sex workers. Several of these girls have suffered physical abuse, from being bitten, having food withheld as a punishment, being hit and beaten, to being put in a sack and thrown in a pond. And several of the girls have been raped. Those living in highly neglectful and incredibly abusive environments are now living in the safety of a child protection centre.

Free To Shine's scholarship program supports and reintegrates students back into the public education system by alleviating the financial burden associated with schooling. They fund the students enrolment fees, necessary photocopies and handouts, her exam fees and provide her with a school uniform, shoes and bag, books and other educational resources as well as a bicycle so that she can reach school.

To further protect each girl, so that she is not trafficked and so that she is supported by her parents to attend school, each girl has a case worker who visits the family regularly to provide ongoing support and education. During each home visit the case worker stresses to the parents the importance of education, to ensure the parents support their children to continue studying until completing high school, and teach that a university education is possible. They also teach essential areas such as health and hygiene and budgeting.

Here's what your generous donations will do.....

$25 = education for a month.
$35 = a veggie garden to provide vegetables and herbs a family can sell.
$40 = repairs the holes in the walls and roof of a family’s house to keep them dry during the rain.
$50 = provides a water filter to provide safe drinking water to a family for approximately 10 years.
$60 = provides a bicycle, bike helmet, school uniform, shoes, bag, books and pencils.
$300 = provides education for a girl for a year, including a case worker who works with the family to help keep her safe.

If we raise $100,000 we might even be able to build a school!
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