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Friday, July 31, 2009

Race for Abolition!

Love146 has found ourselves in an unexpected and exciting relationship with two professional luxury racing teams, Guardian Angel Motorsports and Team Polizei 144.



Guardian Angel Motorsports is well known for its enduring success in uniting the motorsports community behind children's charities.

Team Polizei 144 is infamous for its rally history , 2006 Cannonball Record and recent debut in pro motorsports

These two have joined forces, contributing financial support, mobile technologies and media reach to broaden Love146's donor base.

The teams are asking their friends and fans to get behind Love146 and join the movement of abolition. Their fist big race is coming up August 7th at the Rolex Grand-Am race at Watkins Glen, NY.

In the words of Guardian Angel Motorsports:

"There are some stories that touch all of our lives. These are stories of children who suffer, who will never know the kind of childhood we wish for all children, everywhere.
These are the families that could really use a guardian angel.
You can become that guardian angel."

We at Love146 never cease to be amazed and excited at the breadth of groups and individuals that come to the table of abolition. From luxury race cars, students, bands, celebrities, families, communities of faith, artists, and more. This is what keeps us going. A shout of abolition across social, political, and religious boundaries. Thank you to everyone at the table, and to our new friends in the racing community!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Starting the day with tears...

Okay…I confess…I can be brought to tears fairly easily. I cry when I hear a sad song on the radio. I cried when Simba raised his new baby cub into the sky at the end of The Lion King. And yes…I still have a hard time when Bambi’s mom dies. I even cried during Hannah Montana:The Movie, when Miley sang to her Dad. I think my kids were worried about me.


Most of these tears are sentimental. But there are times when tears come from a completely different place inside of me. They are different. They are born from either deep grief or joy. They come when I receive a report of a specific child who has been trafficked and exploited. They have come at times when reading an article on child slavery or while hearing another staggering statistic. But they have also come from seeing a child in our safehome smile again. They come from hearing spontaneous laughter and singing from children who are getting their lives and childhood back.

This morning I received an update on our girls in the Love146 safehome in the Philippines. As I read the words of Dr. Velazco (Our Director of Aftercare), and the words of our girls… tears came from that place called joy. In her own words, Dr. Velazco writes;


“I asked the girls to plant certain plants in places in the Round Home."

"And when they finished…


"I asked them to walk down the path and get in touch with how it makes them feel.”


“I feel like it’s my 18th birthday and I am the most important person in the crowd. It’s a very nice feeling.”


“I feel like it’s my wedding and I’m walking down the aisle. I would like to continue walking here.”


"I also asked the girls to begin a garden of pebbles, rocks, stones, and

miniature plants."

"And when done, I asked them to ponder on what has been formed."


“I feel like I’m sitting on the sea shore. When I was a little child, I would go to the beach when I had problems…and just look at the islands beyond. Somehow, my feelings would be relieved. This is a place for examination of conscience. It feels very quiet here. I can feel solitude and the presence of God. On the sea shore, you can usually see a rainbow, which symbolizes God’s covenant with people, so there is hope. I can imagine a rainbow here.”


“It’s like the sea with different kinds of stones, some big, some small. The small ones are small trials. The big ones are like the big trials in my life that almost make me want to give up. I have overcome the small trials in my life.”


“The stones are holding the little plants in place, so the plants’ roots are able to grow strong. I’m like the little plant and the Round Home staff are the stones.”


“Everything seems to be in order here. There is peace and content, they just need the sun and water. I wish my life would be in order someday and I could fulfill my dreams. Sometimes I think I could.”


“The white reminds me that I have passed my trials and I have no worries anymore. My past experience was the most difficult in my life, but I have survived and now everything in my life is peaceful and I am so happy and my life is bright like that white.”


Dr. Velazco summed up the experiences by writing;


“The garden is an abstract and ambiguous stimulus and in order to make sense of it, the beholder has to create something in her mind. Whatever is created bears the specific stamp of the needs, hopes, conflicts, feelings, or desires of the one who is creating. The mere expression of these is therapeutic. The garden is thus, a huge therapeutic canvass.

The idea is to transform every possible corner in the Round Home as a source of therapy and healing. And when the children participate in such physical transformation of the place, their therapy also comes from their own hands.”


So yes…my day began with tears. It was like therapy.

-Rob


Twitter: http://twitter.com/ROBLOVE146




Monday, July 27, 2009

One.

There are two questions I am often asked: “Is the abolition of child sex slavery possible?" and “ Is the restoration of victims of child sex slavery possible?” The magnitude of the problem begs this question. There are millions of predators, millions of victims, and billions of dollars in this story. There are some days, after hearing the latest horror story, or reading about the latest rapist who was given a light sentence when that question arises in my own mind, but I remember the question can never be viewed through millions of people, but only through the one child.

After you have seen the one, danced with the one, buried the one, the millions are there, but not as an insurmountable mass. The millions suddenly have faces; you begin to see them as individuals. This seeing takes faith because once we see the face of the one child instead of the millions, there is a call to action and responsibility. This can seem frightening, but the beautiful things is; the weight of the millions will not crush you but the face of the one can change your life, and you in turn can possibly change theirs.

The one is where we must always begin. The one is worth the risk, the time, the tears, the heartbreak, and the celebration. The one is who changes the world.


with joy,


Desirea

Friday, July 24, 2009

Consumer advocacy works!

Love146 is a member of the Stop the Traffik network, and we are thrilled with the recent progress STT has made in challenging major chocolate corporations to commit themselves to sustainable, fair-trade, and slave-free production and distribution chains.

Cadbury is rolling out its first fair-trade chocolate bar in England. They are the #1 chocolate company in the UK: http://www.cadbury.com/media/press/Pages/ukfairtradeonpack.aspx

Want to help challenge U.S. chocolate companies? Click here for the STT Chocolate Campaign resources and begin your own research on chocolate companies that still need to be taken to task!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bill No. 684

Thanks to everyone who is spreading the word about Bill No. 684. Through blogging and Twitter the word is getting out! We don't have any new info. yet but when we do, we will let you know. Until then keep spreading the word.

With joy,

Desirea

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Urgent Action Needed!

"Pornography and especially images depicting children being sexually abused and exploited are available on DVD’s under the tables of most street-side vendors in the Philippines and other Asian countries. The absence of a strong specific law that makes it illegal to make, copy, distribute or possess such materials damages the lives of thousands of children. Such images are evidence of horrific crime against children and that’s why in all civilized countries where the rule of law prevails, child pornography is anathema and violators get lengthy prison sentences. But not yet in the Philippines...What 12-year-old Jopin did to a six year old, who can’t be named, is extremely shocking. He learned what sex acts to do from a pornographic video that was left in the video machine by a visiting relative. Jopin secretly viewed the pornographic video and soon after he tried out the perverse acts on a six year old. It had tragic consequences for the child victim and Jopin." (to read the full article go here) (this link has been having some issues for different browsers...sited from The Manila Times).

The Philippines has a chance to pass a law defining the crime of child pornography and imposing penalties on perpetrators. This law must be labeled urgent by the President of the Philippines in order to pass. Please take some time today to copy the letter below and email it to the appropriate people (emails listed below). Now is the time to protect these children.

Thank you,

Desirea


Dear Madame President,

At no time in the history of the Philippines has there been a greater
opportunity for the President to act decisively to protect Filipino children
at grave risk than the present historical moment. Thousands of Filipino
children are damaged for life when abused in the making of child
pornography.

The abuse continues when the images of the sexually abused children are
spread around the world through the Internet and are available on the
streets of the Philippines for all to purchase with impunity. They are shown
to other children as training videos to seduce them into becoming
Commercially Sexually Exploited Children and they too are abused and damaged
for life.

By immediately certifying as "urgent " the anti-child pornography bill
pending before the House of Representatives, House Bill No.684 entitled "An
Act Defining the Crime of Child Pornography, Imposing Penalties Thereof, and
for Other Purposes"
you will save thousands of children for years to come.

The Philippines needs this law urgently to protect children and to fulfill
the nations international obligations under the Convention on the Rights of
the Child and other international protocols undertaken by the State on
behalf of the Filipino People.

The passing of House Bill No.684 at your behest will be a proud historical
legacy and provide protection for children for future generations..

We the concerned citizens, representatives of agencies and organizations
working for the protection of the dignity of the Filipino people and the
rights of the child strongly appeal for you to act and announce the bill as
an urgent priority.

Please copy this and send to the following e-mail addresses

pinglacsomngov@yahoo.com,
senzubiri@yahoo.com.ph,
senjinggoyestrada@senate.gov.ph,
opsnews2004@gmail.com,
nasserp@dar.gov.ph,
eicabral@dswd.gov.ph,
efa@dost.gov.ph,
ftduque@co.doh.gov.ph,
osec@deped.gov.ph,
osec@denr.gov.ph,
jadurano@tourism.gov.ph,
osec@dole.gov.ph,
pbfavila@boi.gov.ph,
rvpuno@dilg.gov.ph,
mis@hudcc.gov.ph,
edgardo_angara@hotmail.com,
sbsa_iii@noynoyaquino.ph,
pongbiazon@yahoo.com,
alancayetano@yahoo.com,
pia@senatorpiacayetano.com,
senmds@yahoo.com,
senator_enrile@senate.gov.ph,
sen.escudero@gmail.com,
jinggoy@senjinggoyestrada.com,
senjinggoyestrada@senate.gov.ph,
rjgordon@senate.gov.ph,
ospml@yahoo.com,
sen.litolapid@senate.gov.ph,
loren_b_legarda@yahoo.com.ph,
mam@senate.gov.ph,
kikopangilinan@gmail.com,
aqp@senate.gov.ph,
rcroffice@yahoo.com.ph,
senbongrevilla@senate.gov.ph,
mar@marroxas.com,
senatortrillanes@gmail.com,
mb_villar@yahoo.com,
senzubiri@yahoo.com.ph,
media_sen_lacson@yahoo.com,
ednasy@yahoo.com,
rlneri@neda.gov.ph,
osnd@philonline.com,
sec.yap@da.gov.ph,
arthurcyap@yahoo.com,
akonmf@rocketmail.com,
nast@dost.gov.ph,
mlperez@dost.gov.ph,
ftdp@dost.gov.ph,
csrwg@yahoo.com,
mpo@dost.gov.ph,
cmy@dost.gov.ph,
mpbravo@dost.gov.ph,
spu@dost.gov.ph,
ellen@dost.gov.ph,
bejust@dost.gov.ph,
jsreyesjr@dost.gov.ph,
eaf@dost.gov.ph,
ebdane.jun@dpwh.gov.ph,
bonoan.manuel@dpwh.gov.ph,
rasuman.bashir@dpwh.gov.ph,
asis.raul@dpwh.gov.ph,
cabral.ma_catalina@dpwh.gov.ph,
pacanan.jaime@dpwh.gov.ph,
comm-osec@deped.gov.ph,
hea@denr.gov.ph,
oppalabyab@tourism.gov.ph,
sdsarabia@tourism.gov.ph,
paalburo@tourism.gov.ph,
ejarquejr@tourism.gov.ph,
mtmartinez@tourism.gov.ph,
fsdy@tourism.gov.ph,
Ralph@RalphRecto.com,
ftarzaga@shfcph.com,
vp@ovp.gov.ph,

Interview

Rob Morris (our president) is interviewed on a regular
basis.We don't post every interview but I thought I
would post this one. Andrew (our events coordinator)
has a daughter Illy who started her own web show
called Illy Z TV. Illy is an 11 year old who is energetic,
silly and full of life.While forming her web show, Illy
wanted to engage her audience in issues of emergency
facing children today. Her first choice, Love146.


Please send us your projects which address abolition.
I would love to post them.
(email me at: d.rodgers@love146.org)

with joy,

Desirea

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The potential of political advocacy

It's so easy to be cynical about the strength of our political voice and vote. However, it has been proven time and time again when people choose against apathy, things can change!

I invite you to join the letter-writing campaign initiated by our friends at International Justice Mission--this one urges Congress to pass the Child Protection Compact Act of 2009.

The CPCA would provide funds to select countries with a high prevalence of child trafficking, when those countries enter into a 3-year compact with the US. Each compact will contain a detailed plan for the country, including specific objectives, benchmarks to be obtained, allocation of funds, and accountability protocol. The selected countries must meet criteria for financial need, have demonstrated a political will to work against trafficking in children, and propose an identifiable, sustainable impact. The funds ($50,000,000 total available) are to be used for the protection of vulnerable children and rescuing of children from trafficking, and will be disbursed in accordance with the methods and goals agreed upon in the compact. National governments, local governments and non-governmental agencies will be able to apply for grants to implement programs and initiatives that further the countries’ objectives.

Click here to send a letter by JULY 10.

Monday, July 6, 2009

146 steps to the crown.

It’s amazing how a number can stay with you. I don’t think of her as a number. The number (146) was the number her slaveholders gave her. She has a name we just don’t know it, so the number stays. If I did know her name, I would shout it out. I would find a hill at the top of the world and shout her name until the sound of it filled the clouds, until the clouds formed a storm, until the storm released its justice on traffickers and healed the captives with its rain. Until we saw liberty from tyranny.

On Independence Day, I was listening to NPR (a healthy addiction) but I wasn’t really paying attention and then I heard the number, number 146. I was in the kitchen. I turned toward the radio and held my breath a bit as if I had just heard the name of a friend being spoken. The reporter continued with his story. 354 steps total but there are 146 steps to reach the crown of the great statue. These steps are the hardest set. They were closed after Sept. 11, 01. A narrow double helix staircase with no option of turning back. An Egyptologist likened the claustrophobic experience to being inside an underground chamber of a pyramid. It is tiring, constricting, intensely uncomfortable. But, after these 146 steps you reach the crown. The crown with seven spikes representing the seven continents and oceans on our planet. A crown reopened on Independence Day at the top of a statue representing liberty.

Abolition is fraught with tiring work. It can be intensely uncomfortable and there is no turning back but if we climb these steps, we will see liberty on our planet.

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” - MLK


with joy,

Desirea

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Back to Cambodia

Dr. Glenn Miles (the Love146 director of Asia Prevention) and his family will be moving back to Cambodia July 18th. We thought it would be fun to introduce you to Glenn and his family. So, every day on Twitter we will be tweeting a Miles Family fun fact. Didn’t know we had a Twitter account? Of course we do, go here to view it!

Below is a bit more about Glenn. What it doesn’t say is that Glenn and his wife Siobhan are two of the most intelligent, humble people I have ever met. The fire of abolition burns through their work and their lives. It is an honour to have them as part of our team.

The Love146 Asia Prevention Program is overseen by Dr. Glenn Miles.

Dr. Miles, has a PhD in Childhood Studies focusing on violence involving children and 20 years experience of working on child rights issues in developing countries. A British trained child health nurse who has over 20 years experience focused on child health and welfare in Asia. He is married to Siobhan Miles, a clinical nurse specialist in HIV/AIDs and they have 3 children, Zoe, Hannah and Sarah. His most recent overseas assignment was with Tearfund UK (www.tearfund.org) as their Children at Risk advisor in Cambodia. He was on the IJM Aftercare development committee, and with Viva Equip (www.viva.org) he has helped to develop the ‘Celebrating Children’ course (www.celebratingchildrentraining.info) with accompanying text-book (co-edited with J.J. Wright, Paternoster 2003) to equip child care workers in developing countries. He has also developed a series of Children at Risk Guidelines for Tearfund. Glenn helped to roll out the CC course in Cambodia and 9 countries in Asia and 4 in Africa. He recently completed a PhD (University of Wales) on the ‘Experiences and understandings of Cambodian children to violence and abuse’ which became part of the UN Study on Violence Against Children and has been used to advocate with children in Cambodia and at Regional and International conferences. Glenn has also published several applied research papers on children at risk in Cambodia, Thailand and Sri Lanka. He has also taught at all levels up to Postgraduate level and has himself a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

Preventing children from being sold as slaves is at the very foundation of Love146. Imagine a world where no safehomes existed because they aren’t needed.

with joy,

Desirea














Glenn, Siobhan, Zoe, Hannah and Sarah Miles.