This is why I love Twitter. (Please take note, people who think all we tweet about is what we eat.)
A few days after the earthquake in Haiti last January, I saw a tweet from someone standing outside an orphanage in Haiti where traffickers were soliciting orphans. The person was desperately tweeting for someone to send law enforcement or media to stop what was happening.
I knew my colleague Pat Bradley, prez of International Crisis Aid, was already on the ground in Haiti. Pat has rescued kids from slavery in many countries; you may remember what I wrote about him in Begging last year.
As soon as I saw that tweet, I retweeted it (forwarded it) to Pat in Haiti and he got back to me within moments. His team was understandably overwhelmed at the orphanage where they were already helping kids--and sadly could not get to this one.
Side note: Someone did get some international media attention on what was happening at the original orphanage--all thanks to Twitter.
Flash forward to this week. Here's what Pat emailed me:
Since you sent me an email in Jan regarding trafficking in Haiti it never left my mind. Please read below, you are responsible for this happening.
Well I'm not sure if I'm responsible, but here's what happened:
Dennis and I just found a red light district that is as bad as Addis [Ethiopia], if not worse. We saw several small girls also.
The place is located on the road to the orphanage in Leogane, Haiti.
Girls are paid $1.00 for services, there are several hundred girls. To say these are horrible conditions is a gross understatement.
Not sure what we will do about it yet because we just now left the place BUT WE WILL DO SOMETHING.
The experience was like I had in Ethiopia. I felt led to ask about sex trafficking/prostitution and we found ourselves right in the middle of it.
Pray for wisdom that we know what to do and resources to do it.
Then the next day:
We went back to the red-light district yesterday and gave out the gift packs to about 200 girls. They told us it was the first time anyone did something nice with no strings attached. It went very good.
Today we returned with a group from Trinity Fellowship from Amarillo Texas. While walking around I felt God point 2 different girls out to rescue.
We are going to set them up with a roadside kiosk selling a variety of different products. We explained that if they are successful it will make it possible for us to rescue others from this horrible situation. I also explained to them that God picked them out specifically to be the first ones that He is rescuing. We explained that His heart breaks for them and all the other girls and He wants them to be set free to live His plan for their lives.
So all that to say we now have a Safe Campaign in Haiti. I had no plans to do this but God saw differently.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this possible.
Pretty amazing, huh? You can read more here:
ICA's blog"You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so people can no longer terrify them" (Psalm 10:18).
Follow Pat on Twitter: @IntlCrisisAid
Follow me on Twitter: @DianaScimone
Learn how Born to Fly International works to reach kids before the traffickers do: www.born2fly.org
You = you. And me. Thank you for making stories like this possible.