Rhoda Kershaw was eleven when she decided she wanted to be a singer. Her red hair and blue eyes could have caught anyone’s attention, but her voice could do much more. She was a singer with big dreams, always looking for opportunities to shine on stage.
Rhoda was given the opportunity of a lifetime. She was offered to perform in Japan and her parents thought it would be a great experience for her. After reviewing the contract, they sent her to Tokyo so she could achieve her dreams.
After two weeks of luxurious accommodations, Rhoda finally got to go on stage and she sang the only song she knew in Japanese. She was given a few drinks after her performance and after the last one she fainted. Innocently, she thought someone would help her. However, it was the beginning of a horrific experience.
She woke up surrounded by 40 naked men who raped her for three days. After screaming, “God, help me!” one of the men got very upset and slapped her in the face. These men were part of the yakuza mafia, who executed multiple crimes and were considered “businessmen” within Japanese society.
This story is part of the book Slavery Inc., by Lydia Cacho, a Mexican journalist who has written about human trafficking and sex slavery all over the world. Cacho explains that every year, approximately 1.39 million women and young girls are sold as sexual slaves.
Trafficking of persons has become the third highest illegal practice internationally, after drugs and weapons smuggling. Almost certainly the principal reason for its growth is that human trafficking, especially for sex, has become a “lucrative underground activity.”
Rhoda managed to escape. Unconvinced of her story, the police did not do much to help. She shares her story to raise awareness of this terrible scourge, which is prominent in almost every corner of the world. Human trafficking is a major problem that affects society. According to the United Nations, 27 million people are trafficked across the globe.
Two women in the Oxford area have decided to help raise money for Life for the Innocent, a non-profit organization that rescues children around the world from human trafficking. Kathy Brummet and Elizabeth Jones are donating 100 percent of all profits from special Mary Kay lipstick and mascara sales.
According to Life for the Innocent, saving one child from the horror of human trafficking costs around $1,040. That amount guarantees an eight month restoration process that includes medical check ups, food, clothing counseling and school.
“If I could sell 450 lipsticks I know I could help save three children, that is my goal for these holidays,” Jones said.
Kathy Brummett said that she has been interested in these kinds of problems for quite some time now. She started reading and learning about human trafficking, as well as looking for a program that would help her enter into action.
“I began to pray that God would just show me where he was already working, to know what my next step would be,” Brummet said.
From now until December 21st, the women will collect money to send to Life for the Innocent, so that by next year more children can be saved and put in Christian homes.
Life for the Innocent operates under the auspices of Life Church of Fort Collins, Colorado. According to Brummett, they rescued 50 children between 3-8 years old just a couple of months ago. Those children were sold for their organs and thanks to an Indian pastor, who works undercover, the rescues are possible.
“My motivation behind it is that I know how precious children are and these people are taking children as young as three years old, their bodies are being sold several times a day for someone’s pleasure,” Jones said.
Both Jones and Brummett want to raise awareness about these tragic situations and motivate women to purchase lip gloss and mascara to help the cause.
“I’m committed for long as I feel God is leading me in this direction to tell the story to anybody that would listen, and to do everything I can to raise money to rescue children,” Brummett said.
For more information about how to help visit: http://www.lifefortheinnocent.org/index.php
To order lip gloss, lip stick and any mascara to help support Life For the Innocent, visit: http:www.marykay.com/lizjones888
–Story contributed by Lizdaimar Lopez, firstname.lastname@example.org