O.U.R. has found that the most effective model to help survivors is the empowerment and support of in-country aftercare centers and prevention programs. Through collaboration, we have been able to fortify survivors’ care far beyond what we would have been able to do on our own. In order to be most effective, we believe that people who have already invested years in the country are the experts and understand the culture far greater than those who do not live there.
One example of this is shown in the support we are able to give to amazing local organizations that are focused on preventative measures against sex trafficking. There are many factors that put children and teens at risk for sex trafficking. One of the major risk factors is a lack of education. If children can receive a good education they have more options available to them to make a living, which reduces the likelihood of becoming a victim.
One of the groups we are working with focuses on helping children in high-risk neighborhoods obtain scholarships and needed documents in order to go to school. Many of the un-enrolled children are behind their grade levels in reading skill or they can’t read at all. In order for them to be enrolled, they need to reach established literacy requirements.
Recently, Operation Underground Railroad was able to donate reading books and school supplies to this local program that are used to teach the children to read in preparation for reaching these requirements. We help teach the children weekly, but the main work is done by locals that care. These photos are from a group of fifteen children who are taught daily by a local University student that donates an hour of out of his daily schedule. In just six weeks many of them have become eligible to attend school, thereby reducing their risk of being trafficked. This simple program is changing the trajectory of many lives and an example of one of the many things that OUR is doing to help prevent trafficking.
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