An interdenominational missions organization is looking for nominations of unsung heroes, those who are tackling the issues of poverty, sex trafficking, HIV/AIDS, the need for clean water, homelessness and other needs in today's society, for its second bi-annual Epoch Awards to be held later this year.
"We want to uncover every rock of people doing incredible work around the world, but with little to no recognition," said Jeff Shinabarger, founder of Plywood People and event organizer. "Everybody knows somebody giving their lives for others that could really use funding to continue their effort. We want to honor those people that no one knows about and give them a platform to keep doing good."
Epoch (pronounced "Epic") Awards was birthed out of the heart of Tim Abare, COO of Adventures in Missions, located north of Atlanta in Gainesville, in January of 2011. Organizers say anyone can nominate an unsung hero who is actively serving others and whose bravery is rather unknown by going online to http://epochawards.com/nominations/nominate/. The nominations close next Thursday (May 30). more >>
The CNN Freedom Project has announced the premiere of "The Fighters," a documentary on the groundbreaking work of one of the world's most renowned anti-trafficking organizations and the help its founder received in combating modern-day slavery from boxing champ, Filipino congressman and outspoken Christian Manny Pacquiao.
"The Fighters," airing for the first time this weekend on CNN International in a two-part series based on nearly two years of investigative reporting, provides an in-depth look at how Cecilia Flores-Oebanda and her Philippines-based anti-trafficking organization, the Visayan Forum Foundation, work unceasingly to get the message out that "Filipinos are not for sale." Joining her in the fight is the Philippines' own favorite son Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, boxing champ and congressman of the country's Sarangani province.
In a riveting and provocative pre-screening of "The Fighters" shared with The Christian Post, CNN's Leif Coorlim informs viewers that many of the Philippines' more than 90 million residents, who are predominantly Roman Catholic, suffer from extreme poverty. A need for survival drives many Filipinos overseas with the hope of finding employment. Traffickers, looking to stuff their own pockets, sometimes pose as employment agents and trick women and children into sexual and bonded slavery. more >>
Note: This is part four of a four part series. The others can be read here: Pt. 1One Survivor's Story of Sex Abuse in Small-Town, Pt.2 Survivor Shares Story of Sex Abuse by Well-Respected Father, Pastor, Pt. 3 Dad Drugged and Sold Me to Other Men.
According to End Slavery Tennessee human trafficking is a $32 billion-a-year, international industry involving organized crime, corrupt governments officials, cultural expectations, orphans, poverty and more. It is as real in small town America as in a village in Cambodia or the underground of Russia.
Over the course of this week my friend Z has been sharing her story of surviving the sex trade. Trafficked by her father beginning in middle school his actions and control dominated her even as she went to college. Today is the final segment. A few observations will follow. more >>
Dove Award-winning and Grammy nominated singer Kari Jobe said she decided to endorse the movie "Not Today," that opens this weekend, with a song because of her passion to fight human trafficking – ministry work that she has been involved with for the last six years.
"It's just an evil, evil situation going on with human trafficking," Jobe told The Christian Post. "A lot of people think it's just happening in other countries but there's a lot going on in America as well."
Producers of "Not Today" are hoping to raise awareness about sex slavery, one of the most critical problems in society today. Today, there are more slaves than at any other time in human history. Roughly 27 million slaves around the world are being exploited for manual and sexual labor against their will. Women and children are the primary victims in this industry, which is estimated to make profits of over $32 billion. more >>
This is the 3rd part of the story of a sex trafficking survivor, my friend Z. In the intro she explained the reasons for telling her story, and in the previous part she began recounting the sexual abuse received from her father. Today she shares certain portions of the abuse that can only be described as utterly depraved, animalistic and demonic. In tomorrow's close Z will talk about her rescue, and God's work in her life.
To further shield Z's identity certain events in this and tomorrow's post have been altered in detail or chronology. more >>
On Wednesday we gladly and gratefully received a report from the President's Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships with its recommendations for strengthening partnerships to combat human trafficking. The report is the product of months of work by a diverse and dedicated group of advisers on an issue President Obama has identified as "one of the great human rights causes of our time."
The Advisory Council's report will help support a larger campaign that is being waged by the Administration against human trafficking. Just yesterday, for example, the White House held a forum to highlight the significant progress it has made on these issues since President Obama's speech at the Clinton Global Initiative in September 2012. The four elements of the Administration's strategy include:Preventing trafficking by raising awareness among vulnerable populations, leading by example, and educating the public and first responders; Prosecuting traffickers through strengthened investigations and enforcement tools; Protecting survivors through comprehensive social services, family reintegration, and immigration services; and Partnering with civil society, state and local government, the private sector, and faith-based organizations to maximize resources and outcomes.
The work of the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is a crucial part of our efforts to advance this fourth objective. The Council's recommendations demonstrate the commitment of a distinguished set of civic leaders to strengthen and expand partnerships with government to end the scourge of modern-day slavery. Their thoughtful recommendations deserve our close attention. more >>