5 Ways To Fight For Freedom From Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings, mainly for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. As the world’s fastest growing criminal industry, it affects every nation across the globe. Every 30 seconds, someone is forced into this type of bondage–modern slavery. –The A21 Campaign

We’ve all heard the expression, “No one can do everything, but all of us can do something“. When it comes to issues like sex trafficking, forced labor, or any form of modern-day slavery, we freeze. Not because we don’t care, but because we feel so absolutely incapable of making any significant or effective contribution toward real change.

Where do we start? How do we start? Once we take the first step, what next? That’s when it helps to look to credible people and organizations who have already started paving a path, and join them on their journey. The A21 Campaign is one of those organizations. I agree with them when they say, “Not everyone can intern or volunteer, but everyone can make a difference.”

The A21 Campaign makes it simple for us by offering Five Ways To Fight For Freedom from human trafficking. One of my favorite pieces of advice is:

“Be yourself and channel your passions for a purpose. No one else has the exact talents and platform as you. Do what you love to help raise awareness or money.”

The A21 Campaign exists to abolish injustice in the 21st century through prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships. Want more ideas on how you can get involved as a modern-day abolitionist? Check out the full list here. Learn more about A21 Campaign’s mission.

It is estimated that the average age of human trafficking victims is only 12 years old. The majority of modern-day slaves are believed to be women and girls. According to A21, only 1-2% of victims are ever rescued. Share the Five Ways To Fight For Freedom with your friends… numbers matter!

Tell us how you are channeling your passions for a purpose and joining your efforts with other freedom fighters on the road to end slavery!

Contact The A21 Campaign or Follow on Twitter

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(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Exchanging One Misery For Another

 

“Women and girls may themselves take the initiative to migrate in the hope of earning a decent income, escaping a miserable life, or supporting a family back home. In such cases, they are sometimes aware that they are going to work in commercial sex, considering this to be an acceptable short-term remedy to a desperate need to earn a living. They very rarely, however, are aware of the nature of the demands that will be made upon them, the conditions in which they are likely to be held, or the possible long-term repercussions of the activity.” International Labor Organization (ILO)

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NOT TODAY Movie: Child Trafficking in India

NOT TODAY opens in theatres today. It is a movie about child trafficking and exploitation.  One of its many awards includes “Best Justice Film” from the 2013 Justice Film Festival. As many are now aware, “human trafficking” is the new terminology for modern-day slavery. In any form, slavery condones the buying and selling of human beings. This is a film about India, but it’s also a film about humanity everywhere.

With the financial freedom to travel abroad, the young Caden Welles takes off for an adventure with his friends to Hyderabad, India. What he finds there is not a dream vacation, but a nightmare. Like so many of us who are exposed to the realities of human degradation through culturally embedded caste systems, sexual exploitation, forced labor, and/or child trafficking, he is forever haunted, forever changed.

NOT TODAY is a contemporary coming-of-age story, and through this journey, viewers are afforded terrifying, yet all-too-common examples of modern-day slavery, lined with lessons in courage, understanding, and faith, all wrapped in a rich cinematographic masterpiece.” Dr. Ana Steele, President Dalit Freedom Network USA

Watch the Trailer of NOT TODAY the Movie  

Executive Director, Matthew Cork says, “Dalits are not considered human. They get no education. They are used and abused and have no recourse or avenues toward justice. There is no protection from law enforcement; no access to the courts; no political voice, no hope of upward mobility.”

I know we live in a frenetic fast-paced world that thrives on sound bites and is always pushing toward the next thing, but if you would, re-read that last paragraph. Imagine it was referring to you, or the people you love. 

Cork is asked: “Can one movie change everything in India?” “No. But what if that one movie could open the eyes of millions and challenge them to join in this meaningful fight? There is a longing in the human heart for freedom. It is a universal longing.”

All of NOT TODAY’s partners are currently working to bring awareness, justice, and freedom to enslaved people around the globe.  Partners include A21 Campaign, International Justice Mission, Abolition International, and more. 

My challenge to you: Let’s work together, through the power of one, to begin to change each “no” into a “yes”. Yes, we believe in justice, equal justice for all of humanity. That includes fair laws, access to the courts, and legal protection for every person. Yes, we believe in education, the hope of upward mobility, and freedom from abuse for all. Yes, we believe girls have a right to live, receive education, and to prosper. Yes, we believe in a future hope that is good, the right to our voice, and freedom for all human beings, period.

As the movie byline reads: “None of us are free if one of us is enslaved.”

You may also be interested in:

Dalit Freedom Network: Touching the Untouchable Women of India

Untouchable — National Geographic Magazine  

Visit the website of NOT TODAY: The Movie or Follow on Twitter @NotTodayMovie.

How a Movie Ticket Can Help Save a Child From Slavery by Actor John Schneider

The movie was produced by Friends Church Yorba Linda, a congregation committed to educating the Dalits and ending human trafficking in India. Want to bring Not Today to YOUR City? Bring It!

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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THE FREEDOM SERIES by Kathi Macias–Free Book Giveaway!

The Freedom Series is a collection of fiction novels about Human Trafficking, written by multi-award winning author Kathi Macias, and published by New Hope publishers.

I want to remind my readers of two opportunities to win FREE books from The Freedom Series!

  1. To enter to win a complete set of The Freedom Series  (Deliver Me From Evil, Special Delivery, & The Deliverer) on September 24, simply post a comment on the following blog site to enter: http://christianspeakerservices1.wordpress.com/.
  2. To enter to win the most recent book in the series, The Deliverer, simply post a comment below. The winner will be announced by Sept 30, 2012.  View the Book Trailer Now

If you missed earlier posts about the books in The Freedom Series, you can catch up here:

THE DELIVERER: An Interview with Abolitionist & Author Kathi Macias

SPECIAL DELIVERY: Interview with Abolitionist & Author Kathi Macias

DELIVER ME FROM EVIL: A Freedom Series Novel on Sexual Slavery & Human Trafficking

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(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women

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THE DELIVERER: An Interview with Abolitionist & Author Kathi Macias

 

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning author who writes from the heart about some of the most important issues of our time: human trafficking, sex slavery, homelessness, border issues, freedom of religion, and historically courageous women. She is also an abolitionist, fighting and rallying others to fight, against modern-day slavery with her Freedom Series, a collection of fiction novels published by New Hope publishers. The third book in the Freedom series, The Deliverer follows her second book, Special Delivery, and her inaugural title, Deliver Me From Evil.

“I was horrified. I was also convinced that I had to do everything possible to help educate others about this widespread horror and to call them to join the fight.”

View the Book Trailer Now

Join me as we discuss the human trafficking novel, The Deliverer, and learn more about Kathi’s work and heart to see people set free:

While this is the third and final book in the Freedom Series, I’m sure there are people who are just learning about it. Would you please share what prompted you to write these books on such topic as relevant and difficult as human trafficking?

I was finishing up my previous fiction series for New Hope Publishers (the Extreme Devotion Series, dealing with the persecuted Church around the world) when Andrea Mullins (the publisher at New Hope) asked me what topic I wanted to tackle next. We discussed a few possibilities, and then she suggested human trafficking. I was aware of it and thought it was terrible but had no idea how widespread it was. I agreed to do some preliminary research and get back to her. When I discovered there are more than 27 million people held in various forms of human trafficking (sexual slavery, forced labor or military conscription, involuntary donation of body parts/organs) and that many of them are children (including an estimated 100,000—300,000 MINORS held in sexual slavery in the US today!), I was horrified. I was also convinced that I had to do everything possible to help educate others about this widespread horror and to call them to join the fight. Not only have I now written/released the Freedom Series on human trafficking, but I’m speaking on it everywhere/every chance I get.

What was your original objective in writing these books, Deliver Me From Evil, Special Delivery, and The Deliverer? And, what are you hearing back from people who have read the books? How are they taking action?

Originally my plan was to see the books alert readers to this horrific crime and, hopefully, challenge them to get involved in fighting it some way. That seems to be happening, but on such a larger scope than I had imagined. The response from readers is overwhelming! Pastors have written to say they are challenging their entire church to get involved on some level, and I’m being invited to speak all over the country on this topic. I am thrilled to see the Light being shined in this terrible darkness at last! As for specific actions, pastors and civic leaders are inviting me (or others in this ministry) to come and speak to their congregations/groups to help educate them on this massive tragedy. Readers tell me they are posting about my books all over the net to help snag people’s attention. I’m getting invitations to speak on radio and TV as well. I’ve also been contacted by readers who are getting involved in setting up safe houses for rescued victims, which is a huge need. I was even contacted by the Department of Homeland Security and invited to participate in group conference calls on the topic. Overall, I’m thrilled at the way God is using these books to help sound the alarm and to “rescue the perishing.”

It seems there is always someone in your books who is an intercessor. Why is that important for you to include?

This is vital to me, and as you said, I almost always include an intercessor in my novels. I know there were intercessors in my own life who prayed me through some incredibly dangerous and difficult times, and I appreciate those heroes of the faith more than I can express. Highlighting their importance in my books accomplishes two things: it enables me to honor those faithful intercessors who often get no recognition in this world, and it also calls others to get involved in intercession as well.

You write books as you often call them, parables with a purpose, on topics such as human trafficking, the persecuted church, illegal immigration, and your Christmas 2012 book is about homelessness. Some might call you an advocate. Why is it important for Christians, and the church as a whole, to discuss these issues?

You’re right that I call my novels “parables with purpose,” because I believe Jesus is our example and that’s what He told to His followers—parables with purpose. He didn’t just tell them “nice stories” to entertain them. He told stories that would grab them right where they lived, and then challenge them to change their hearts, their minds, and their lives. The Church has always been at the forefront of serious social change, leading the charge to abolish slavery for instance, and leading the charge on these other issues is right where the Church needs to be now. The first step is to discuss the issues, to make people aware of them, and then to call them to action. I believe gripping fiction is one of the most effective ways to do that.

Will you give us a glimpse, a taste of things to come — without getting too far ahead — of what’s in store for your next series and books on the horizon?

In addition to the 2012 Christmas novel, Unexpected Christmas Hero, dealing with homelessness in America, I will be releasing a new series starting in January. The first of the three novels is called The Moses Quilt, and it deals with a contemporary interracial romance, set against the background of a quilt that tells the story of the courageous, faith-filled woman known as Harriet Tubman. A contemporary novel dealing with the issue of abortion will follow, with the first woman doctor in America, Elizabeth Blackwell, as our backdrop heroine. The final book will be built around the much beloved Fanny Crosby, as we deal with the issue of people with disabilities. That series is from New Hope Publishers, but I also have a book releasing in the Spring of 2013 from B&H Publishers called Last Chance for Justice. It’s part of the multi-author Bloomfield Series, and I’m very excited about it.

You also write a devotional blog. Can you tell us what the focus is and where we can find it?

I started writing a weekly devotional several years ago, in response to a request from the then newly formed group CAN (Christian Authors Network). I sent it out as a group email and had about 40 recipients then. The devotional mailing quickly grew and expanded beyond the CAN group, with countless readers signing up to receive it. I also started posting it each week on my devotional blog (http://kathimacias.com/category/devotional-2/), which is part of my primary website (www.kathimacias.com), where you will also find my “Easy Writer” blog, which is more writing-related. (You can also sign up there to receive the weekly devotional in your inbox.) Over the years the devotional has been picked up by Crosswalk, Black Christian News, Latino Christian News (I offer it in Spanish as well as English), Believe.com, Christians in Recovery, etc., so the readership has mushroomed beyond anything I ever imagined. God is amazing, isn’t He?

Finally, we know you as an award-winning author, but you also enjoy speaking for women’s events, and other groups, as well. On what areas or topics do you focus your speaking presentations? How can a church or group find out more about having you speak for their event?

I speak on various topics, including the issues I address in my books, but on other topics too. One of my most requested topics is “When Passion and Purpose Collide.” That, along with several other popular topics, can be found in the speaking section of my website (http://kathimacias.com/speaking/).  To see my current speaking schedule and/or to explore the possibility of having me come and speak, just go to http://kathimacias.com/speaking/speaking-schedule/ and click on the Christian Speakers Services button to make contact. You can also see some of my speaking endorsements at http://kathimacias.com/speaking/endorsements/.

FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY! To Enter to win a free copy of The Deliverer by Kathi Macias, simply post a comment below. You can also help spread the truth about human trafficking by re-posting this interview on Facebook and sharing it with your friends. The winner will be announced by Sept 30, 2012!

Follow me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

For more opportunities for free copies of The Deliverer by Kathi Macias, please visit Facebook.com/CSSVBT.KathiMacias.

Note: I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services (http://ChristianSpeakersServices.com). 

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Half the Sky Hosts Twitter Chat with Somaly Mam on Modern-Day Slavery

 

Half the Sky is hosting a Twitter chat with Somaly Mam, and… You’re Invited! 

Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery at a very young age. She was raped and tortured on a daily basis, and even forced to watch her best friend being brutally murdered. Today, she is one of the world’s leading activists against sex trafficking and advocates for the victims and survivors of modern-day slavery. She has teamed up with Half the Sky for a Twitter chat. “It’s time for a 21st-century abolitionist movement,” says Nicholas Kristof, Half the Sky Co-Founder. 

What: Twitter Chat with ex-trafficking victim and survivor Somaly Mam, hosted by Half the Sky.

Why: Because 30 million people are trapped in human slavery today, more than any other time in history (via sex trafficking, forced labor and debt bondage… and that’s completely unacceptable!)

When: Wednesday, July 18th at 2:30PT / 5:30ET

Where: Twitter!

Tweet your Questions to: @SomalyMam and @Half using #endslavery

The Half the Sky Movement is about igniting the change needed to put an end to the oppression of women and girls around the globe. It was inspired by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book of the same name, “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide”.

The Somaly Mam Foundation is a nonprofit charity committed to ending modern day slavery and empowering its survivors as part of the solution.“She vowed never to forget those left behind and has since dedicated her life to saving victims and empowering survivors.” Read her book, The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine. 

“He Who Allows Oppression Shares the Crime” -Desiderius Erasmus

Join me on Twitter: @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”
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Somaly Mam: From the Jungles of Cambodia Rises A Voice for the Voiceless

From the deep forests of Cambodia to street brothels–Somaly Mam’s “grandfather” sold her into sexual slavery at age 12 where she suffered unspeakable acts of brutality and witnessed horrors that would haunt her for the rest of her life.

Unable to forget the girls left behind after her escape, she became a tenacious and brave leader in the fight against human trafficking, rescuing sex workers–some as young as five and six–offering them shelter, rehabilitation, healing, love and leading them into a new life.  

The Somaly Mam Foundation is a non-profit charity Foundation committed to ending modern day slavery in North America and around the world.

Vision: A world where women and children are safe from slavery.
Mission: To give victims and survivors a voice in their lives, liberate victims, end slavery, and empower survivors as they create and sustain lives of dignity.

Somaly has written about her own human trafficking story in the heartbreaking and hopefully heart awakening book titled, “The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine.”

Did you know that human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry and the fastest growing criminial enterprise in the world?  If so, share how you are helping to raise awareness about human trafficking or working in some way to eradicate modern-day slavery.

Learn more on the Somaly Mam Foundation website and/or follow Somaly Mam on Twitter: @SomalyMam.

Buy the Book: The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine 

Join me on Twitter: @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”
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NOT FOR SALE: Moving From Awareness To Action Against Modern-Day Slavery

“No longer can we stand by while 30 million people are enslaved”. Thinking about positive change is a beginning—like the planting of a seed. Talking about positive change is taking that idea to the next step, like watering it. But it is not enough to make a lasting difference.  Good ideas, like knowledge and awareness, will never affect true transformation. Like the seed that is planted and watered, without the light of truth and effective nurturing, it cannot thrive and gain the momentum of progressive evolution toward a solution. Not For Sale believes it’s time to shift gears by marrying movement with intelligent action.

So what is Not For Sale’s commitment to breaking the cycle of vulnerability and creating change at the root level of human trafficking and slavery? It is to provide a platform and issue a collective challenge for modern-day abolitionists to rise up and stand with those who are enslaved. To educate, inspire and invite people to move from the awareness phase to the action phase. They join forces to equip abolitionists in their quest to empower those who are enslaved to realize their freedom. That is success—remarkable, measurable success.

“We cannot act solo if we want to make an impact” -David Batstone

What does that collective challenge look like on the ground? Not for Sale combines technology, intellectual capital, abolitionist groups and a growing network of individuals working together for one purpose: to bring an end to human trafficking and modern-day slavery. To creatively, intelligently and strategically work together to literally set captives free.

We are living in a moment in time where the world’s interest and conscience are piqued by the topics of human rights and modern-day slavery. That’s why we cannot allow the sheer breadth and depth of its ugly and enormous reality cause us to become paralyzed to the point of inaction. It will take many moving parts working toward the same goal.

As Not For Sale rightly points out, “We live in a time and place where people are restless to do something”. Their approach promotes a holistic response that will best serve that collective goal. That’s why NFS presents us with opportunities that will bring students/universities, athletes, musicians, artists, communities of faith, justice, technology and business minds together. In order to bridge knowledge to action, they understand that, “The greatest of challenges demand the boldest and most creative initiatives.”

“Ending slavery in our lifetime depends on open-source activism” –David Batstone

Do you consider yourself a modern-day abolitionist? Do you and/or your peers want to learn more about human trafficking or find creative ways to “activate your activism”? Check out the Free2Work, Free2Play, and Free2Walk initiatives. Download the app to find out if the food you eat and the goods you buy are produced by slaves.  If you’re not sure how to apply your interests and skills in the movement, NFS has created an easy online tool to help point you in the right direction.  Consider taking an educational and life changing Immersion Trip, or sign up for The Academy, an abolitionist think-tank where NFS “incubates ideas to create solutions”.   

Hear the heart and journey of David Batstone, banking investor, educator, journalist and President/Co-Founder of Not For Sale in his own words.  

We cannot live in our present time and space and not be aware that human trafficking and modern-day slavery exists to some degree. Neither can we afford to live with our own conscience now awakened, yet stuck in the place of awareness… and do nothing.

How are you moving from awareness to action as an individual, organization or community?

Related Article: The Top Ten Rules for the Lifelong Effort to Become a Smart Activist

Buy the Book: “Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade–and How We Can Fight It” by David Batstone

Connect with Not For Sale on Facebook, online, by email, or follow @NFS on Twitter

Join me on Twitter: @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”
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The Price of Sex: A Trafficking Film by Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova

 

The Price of Sex: an Investigation of Sex Trafficking is a feature-length documentary by Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova about young Eastern European women who’ve been drawn into the dark world of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. 

 “I wish I’d never been born. I’d be better off dead than living like this.“ –Victim of Sex-Trafficking

The producer points out, “Sixty-four years after the UN General Assembly signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we continue to witness the sale of human beings and the degradation of women’s bodies and minds.”

“It’s pure evil.  Plain and simple.” –Victim of Sex-Trafficking

Visit www.priceofsex.org or click here to VIEW THE TRAILER

When Mimi Chakarova was asked in an interview by Stacey Harrison of Channel Guide Magazine what she’d learned about human trafficking during the making of this film, she responded, “I’ve worked and thought about sex trafficking for nearly 10 years now. It has changed the way I perceive not only individuals but governments and justice systems.” Read More: Filmmaker Mimi Chakarova bravely explores “The Price of Sex” in new documentary.

“Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova has sought and recorded the stories of Eastern European women who disappeared into the modern-day slave trade of sex trafficking with “The Price of Sex”—a searing new film that opens up this hidden world.” –NPR, Talk of the Nation

Screenings are available in association with the Center for Investigative Reporting.  You can purchase the 73-minute DVD The Price of Sex  from Women Make Movies, an organization that offers films by and about women.  Learn other ways you can get involved and share information about this film. Or, join the conversation on Facebook.

In a recent article, “Ten Years Underground: A Photojournalist’s Quest to Expose the Sex Trade,” by Misty Ericson (Her Circle Magazine), Mimi says, “I feel like I’m lucky not to be in this position. The only thing I can do is tell the story well. This is my gift to these girls.”

What is your gift?  How can you help raise awareness and support justice for victims of sex trafficking?

Twitter: @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”
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The IJM Freedom Tour: Cycling for Freedom

Are you or someone you know a Cycling Enthusiast?  Are you looking for a way to partner with other abolitionists in raising awareness and funds to help prevent Violence, Modern-Day Slavery and Human Trafficking?  Consider joining (IJM) International Justice Mission‘s Cycling for Freedom Bike Tour and help the wheels of justice turn a little bit faster!

IJM’s Freedom Tour – Cincinnati, OH to Washington, DC

Mark your calendar: July 12-23, 2012 (Application date: March 1st)

International Justice Mission

IJM is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to ensure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to promote functioning public justice systems.

The IJM Freedom Tour – Cycling for Freedom

The IJM Freedom Tour 2012 will take the team on from Cincinnati, OH to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. In addition to cycling, the team will have the opportunity to connect with churches and communities along the route, educating them about the realities of modern-day slavery and sharing tangible steps they can take in their own lives to bring an end to this horrible reality.  What’s included? Experienced leaders, safety training, cycling instruction, food, accommodations, en route transportation, support vehicle, team apparel, and trip setup are all provided. 

Raising Awareness & Funds for Justice

A fun way to get involved is to have your friends, co-workers and family support you for each mile of the ride. Not a Biker? Maybe you want to get involved in raising awareness and funds to support IJM’s mission to stop violence, slavery and human trafficking, but you’re not a biker.  Other abolitionists have hosted runs/walks, paddle/row events, climbs/hikes and motorcycle rides on behalf of justice. Choose a significant goal related to your activity, or organize a tournament, music or food-related event and have the entry fees benefit IJM. Competitions and creative events are always a great way to raise awareness!

What are YOU doing to help promote justice?

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

(Photo courtesy of Veritas Communications)

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