Since 2005 Marist Missionary Sisters have provided a transitional home in southern California for women escaping from human trafficking. Sisters Judy Sheridan and Joan Bernich staff this home at present. Recently Sr Judy wrote to tell us about a group of young people who have joined in the fight against slavery in today's world.
These photos are a tribute to a high school Junior, Bridgette (in photo with Sister Joan and me,) who has started an anti-trafficking club in her school, The Classical Academy in Escondido, California. The club is called, HELPING FOR HOPE, and it is committed to helping Mary's Guest House and to raising awareness about Human Trafficking.
On May 20th, they hosted an event where students paid $5.00 at the door and were treated to pizza, a drink, chips and some games before the presentations. Oscar Gomez spoke on child exploitation. My presentation focused on thanking them for coming and for being pioneers in starting this club, and Kathy Hardy gave an impassioned presentation on her own 20 years as a sex slave.
Bridgette also designed a T-shirt on ending sex slavery, and the Art Department had a project where the students were to create an artistic work on trafficking. The whole evening was awesome. The most inspirational part was to see these young people becoming ambassadors for other young people to help them be aware of protecting themselves and helping others.
Keep this club in your prayers and all young people who are so vulnerable to becoming entrapped in sexual exploitation: a life full of horror and evil aimed at destroying the soul of the person.