In the Dominican Republic, alone, 1/10 victims of sexual exploitation are children (IJM). It is an issue that is rarely witnessed, similar to illegal drug transactions, but is ever present. The UN, also, recently reported that the Dominican Republic has the third (3rd) fastest growth rate for human trafficking globally.
The Problem is child exploitation (slavery, in all its forms:
both laborious and sexual).
Not only must we find these children, rescue them, and arrest the traffickers, but we must also find a way to prevent this problem from occurring in the future.
How do we do that?
That is where Gifts of Grace comes in. We act as a prevention agency. Gifts of Grace exists to prevent all forms of child exploitation and poverty.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
- Benjamin Franklin
The best protection for public health is prevention, not cleanup.
- John McNabb
We recognize how vital and important it is to rescue children who are currently trapped like, and treated worse than, animals. Rescuing each child is a necessity and we wholeheartedly support all efforts to do so. We also encourage everyone to make contributions to such noble causes. Gifts of Grace would not be what it is without the inspiring works of Operation Underground Railroad, the Prosperity Project, and others.
In addition, if we approach the plague of child exploitation to another type of epidemic, such as Ebola, we will begin to recognize the solution to the problem.
When a disease is contracted, the only option is treatment. The process is painful and the effects of the disease will be carried with the victim, likely, for the rest of their lives. After careful research, professionals begin to locate ways to immunize the rest of the public in order to prevent a future outbreak.
The issue of child exploitation is prevalent and many are afflicted by the epidemic. Rescue operations are underway to help those who have been explosed to this deadly disease. The question is, however, how do we prevent future occurrences with other children? There needs to be an antidote — a tool to immunize the others.
Gifts of Grace has located one such antidote and at its center lies education.
We have discovered a powerful link between children who are exploited and children who do not attend school. Child traffic prevention lies inside of the classroom.
More than 40% of Dominican children are uneducated. Children living in rural areas, as well as migrant children, do not have easy access to schools.
Furthermore, the quality of the education itself is not as good as it should be: teachers are poorly trained; scholastic programs are ill-suited to the needs of the students; and school buildings stand in dire need of repair.
Also disturbing is the fact that in the Dominican Republic, only 60% of children complete their primary education. Moreover, many families encourage their children to drop out of school and work full time so as to increase household finances (Humanium.org).
When children are in school, the chances of them being exploited and trafficked are much lower. The issue here lies within the poverty-stricken circumstances of many Dominican children. Their parents may coerce their child to drop out of school to help make the family money through child-labor or prostitution. Some children are also kidnapped by traffickers when they are seeking to make money for their families.
Helping these children afford schooling will greatly lower their chances of being exploited. Gifts of Grace does just that. All proceeds go to the children's school supplies, backpacks, textbooks, and, in some cases, their tuition costs. Each donation has the ability to save a child from a life of exploitation. Each contribution is the backbone of child traffic prevention.