A Christian humanitarian agency announced Tuesday that it will adopt 300 children of prostitutes in south India over the next few months.
Hopegivers International – which helps support orphanages, schools, medical facilities, and various community development projects in India – will take in the children as it raises funds for Hope Homes. The Homes are orphanages that provide food, clothing, shelter, and education for needy, orphaned, or abandoned children.
The mothers of the children had contacted the ministry first because they were tired of seeing the way their children live and wanted to protect them from the poverty, exploitation, and violence that is inherent in the prostitution industry.
"When the women saw that we genuinely cared and wanted to help them, they were eager for us to rescue their children – 34 of whom are HIV positive," said Dr. Samuel Thomas, president of Hopegivers. "All the women we met were distraught over seeing their children mocked and mistreated. They expressed a desire for their children to grow up in a nurturing environment and to receive an education."
The mothers also expressed to the ministry that they hope to get out of the sex market eventually. Some said they want to open up a kitchen, others a small flower shop, and some want to become tailors.
Hopegivers said it wants to provide the women with a nurse, teacher, and counselor, as well as job training.
"These women are asking for our help – in order to not only change their lives, but future generations to come. We want to help these women change their lives," Thomas said.
The ministry's long-term goal is to start a community center that includes a school and orphanage for the children and a job training center where the mothers of these children could learn to support themselves. Hopegivers believes if it could support these women for five years then the problems of commercial sex workers and human trafficking would be greatly reduced in the local district.
Hopegivers is based in Georgia and supports Emmanuel Ministries in India, while also funding existing work in Haiti and Malawi. The ministry funds community development projects such as digging fresh-water wells and setting up garden constructions. It also provides disaster relief and recovery. The ministry's goal is to sponsor 1 million orphans in the developing world that have the greatest needs by the year 2020.