I started researching to write a blog post for this week. And I came across an article that paints a much better picture about sex trafficking in Kenya than I could, given my naivetë. It was written by Josh Ruxin for Nicholas Kristof’s blog on the NYTimes. (Kristof is a great journalist who covers poverty, empowerment, etc.)
"Mombasa’s child sex trade is a disturbing thing to watch, but I found that it’s exploding everywhere in this scenic city, one of Africa’s major tourist destinations….When I inquired about the phenomenon, everyone told me that tightened restrictions in Thailand and elsewhere in Asia had pushed the trade to Mombasa, where dozens of weekly flights from Europe fuel its existence.
Officially, the problem doesn’t exist, but according to one estimate, up to 30,000 girls between 12 and 14 years old are currently being lured into hotels and private villas along Mombasa’s north and south coasts where they are sexually exploited with promises of riches and trips abroad. In Malindi, impoverished children of both sexes looking for a new life sell their bodies to tourists…many visitors to Mombasa travel there specifically for illicit sex.
So how did poverty and corruption create this situation? The growing number of children joining Mombasa’s sex tourism trade is in part attributable to the lack of opportunity and further displacement caused by the violent outcome of 2007’s disputed presidential election. With few, if any, economic prospects at hand, unscrupulous agents are able to entice boys and girls with the promise of legitimate jobs. Often, however, the kids end up being forced into sex with strangers under the supervision of their putative sponsors. Seduced by the fast cash, many may end up becoming life-long sex workers, with lives cut tragically short by AIDS and violence."
Mercy House is providing a new opportunity, a new life outside this unimaginable situation, for girls who are about to become mothers. They need approximately $5,000 each month to run the organization. Let's do what we can to help the girls (and their babies) that need Mercy House. Donate as you can and pray for these girls, the babies, Maureen (the house director) and all those girls who are not fortunate enough to have the Mercy House as a refuge.
[caption id="attachment_1205" align="aligncenter" width="590" caption="Courtesy: Mercy House"][/caption]