Help One Now Family,
I’d like to start by saying that I am consistently honored and humbled to be part of this story with all of you…this story that is changing the world one leader, one community, one family, and one child at a time. Hang with me for this not-so-brief update!
As many of you know, I was in Iquitos about 6 weeks ago for some final meetings with:
1. Our local leaders, Mercedes & Willie Malpartida
2. The new Kairos Village Staff
3. Local government officials who will be involved in this work of rescue and restoration with us, including the District Attorney over the Loreto (Amazon) Region who is leading a task force to raise awareness about and fight against human trafficking in the Amazon Region of Peru.
These meetings were good…very good. Mercedes & Willie are dedicated and passionate as always. Mercedes has put together a STRONG team of women to work at the Village, including teachers, house moms, a nurse, a social worker, and more. In this most recent meeting with the District Attorney, we spent several hours, as we have done in the past, going over the current state of human trafficking and forced prostitution in Iquitos and the surrounding area. We went back over the processes—start to finish—of prosecution, rescue, after-care, restoration and transition into adulthood, and who will play what roles in all of this. The information we have gained over the years will shape the focus of Kairos Village. We confirmed with the DA that over 80% of the kids rescued in the past 2 years have been girls between the ages of 12 and 19. Accordingly, we know that the majority of children who find refuge at Kairos Village will be teenage girls. Just as the needs on the ground in Haiti directed us to focus on rescuing younger children at Ferrier Village, the needs on the ground in Peru are directing us to focus on this older demographic. Mercedes and her team are prepared to meet this beautiful challenge.
Friends… we are going to be doing something that no one else in the country is doing. We will be the only after-care facility in the country that is specifically designated for victims of trafficking. It is an urgent need, and God has put us in a position to meet that need. Currently, when a child is rescued from trafficking and sexual exploitation they are placed in a state-run children’s home. The state-run facility in Iquitos is designed for a maximum of 20 children, yet it serves 60-70 children on a regular basis, and these kids are there for any number of situations. So, right now, if a teenage girl is rescued from sex trafficking, she is thrown into this horrible, overcrowded situation with absolutely no privacy or security. It adds a new trauma to the trauma she has already experienced…and more often than not, she will reach back out to her pimp in order to escape her new prison.
Kairos Village will repair this breach—it will be a refuge for these teenage girls to begin the process of physical, emotional and spiritual healing. Mercedes and her team are ready to stand in the gap and care for these girls. They have already been through trauma-care trainings offered by a partner organization, and we will continue to provide consistent trainings. We will have the appropriate environment and the dedicated team to work toward restoration for these girls.
We know that many of you are eager to this story in which you have invested come to life…to see young lives being restored. We are eager to see this happen as well. We promise to keep you all updated regularly and let you know of any progress. In the meantime, PLEASE JOIN US IN PRAYER! Pray that these last 4 authorizations will come through as soon as possible.
I want to thank each one of you for your role in this story of rescue, restoration and hope.
Director of International Operations