This is my friend Meg Conley. She blogs at Meg In Progress, and she is awesome for a lot of reasons. One of those reasons is her involvement with Operation Underground Railroad. OUR is an independent non-profit with a very simple mission: they save children from sexual slavery. They do this by sending in former CIA agents, Navy SEALS, etc. in undercover sting operations (coordinated with local governments) to set up deals with sex traffickers. Once the money changes hands, local law enforcement comes in and arrests the dealers, and the children are freed. Putting bad guys away is a big deal, but OUR never takes their focus away from what matters most, the kids. Here’s Meg:
Yes in the movie, bad guys were caught and evil was disrupted. But the beauty of OUR is that they understand that while catching the criminals is necessary and invaluable, their focus remains on the children. We saw babies rescued from the filth and despair of an orphanage run as a front for child trafficking. We heard the stories of girls that had been rescued from a daily life of darkness infused with violation. Girls that hurt and never expected to stop being hurt. Girls that “never knew there were people out there that worried about girls like me.” Girls that even amidst the lingering pain and trauma are finally learning to dream again. To see the value in life and, oh my blessed heaven, to see the value in themselves. And we saw men and women willing to sacrifice hard-earned resources, time with their families, and physical safety to save even one life.
Meg knows about OUR because she has been on one of their sting operations. Here she is again:
In August, I went on an undercover sting with them in the Dominican Republic. While there, my skin was touched by human traffickers as we shook hands and I pretended to want they were selling. My heart was branded with the faces of the children as they marched past me at the end of the operation, out the door and onto a different, better life. My life was changed. I know firsthand the, at times, miraculous works of O.U.R. And yet, the movie last night pushed me back into my seat and pulled my eyes wide open.
The movie Meg is talking about is The Abolitionists, which Meg saw at an early screening yesterday. The movie tells the story of OUR. Here’s what the trailer looks like:
There are a lot of problems in the world, and there are a lot of good organizations trying to fight them. Child sexual slavery is one of the worst problems. OUR is one of the best organizations. Please read the rest of Meg’s piece and then help OUR expand their efforts.