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International Justice Mission - Freeing Slaves

Think Christianly: International Justice Mission - Freeing Slaves

Monday, September 28, 2009

International Justice Mission - Freeing Slaves

Here is some of the wonderful work being done by IJM...

When a government official was recently alerted to several families held in slavery at a remote rock quarry in South India, he enlisted IJM’s help.

IJM investigators conducted a reconnaissance mission and determined that the facility was actually two separate but connected quarries controlled by powerful perpetrators – one formerly a state-level politician.

Avoiding a tip-off required sweeping, yet precise, simultaneous operations at both quarries. The perpetrators were dangerous, and the plan was logistically challenging, but it worked. In coordinated dual operations, IJM and local authorities rescued 13 families from slavery. Today, the families live in freedom.

"Inside [the quarry], it was not possible for our children to become doctors or police...but it is possible now."
— Venkatesh

March 6, 2009 – The rescue operation that freed Venkatesh and his family takes place

The quarry

See Freedom Through One Family's Eyes

Viswanathan, 13, wanted to work for the government when he grew up so that he could create a “robber-free world,” and his big sister Girija, 15, dreamed of becoming a doctor. But they were not free to pursue these goals: Their parents were slaves in the rock quarry where the family had been forced to live for the past eight years.

The children often crushed rocks with the enslaved adults – a taste of the future that likely awaited them. Their father, Venkatesh, feared that the children would be forced into the bondage of daily hard labor. His wife, Sumathi, worried about the danger the machinery and treacherous terrain posed to her family.

All this changed the spring day when IJM and the local government freed their family from slavery.

After the rescue, IJM helped the family return to their native village, where Venkatesh built a home equipped with “electricity for the children to study, for their education.” He never had the opportunity to go to school himself, and Sumathi was only able to study until fifth grade. These parents are very proud of the education their children are pursuing.

Viswanathan and Girija are working hard at school. They both like science class the best – Viswanathan because “the teacher teaches us well and science talks about the living things,” and aspiring doctor Girija because, “I score [good] marks.”

And out of school, do the two siblings fight? “Only if she starts it!” laughs Viswanathan.

Their father works in construction and hopes to buy a cow to generate sustainable income for his family. Their mother, who is recovering from an illness, can now access health care and dreams of starting a candle making business.

They are a normal family – with normal struggles. They are budgeting, meeting their new neighbors, dreaming of the future. And they are free.

Please give a gift today. Today, there are other families held in slavery who dream of freedom. Please give a financial gift so that IJM can locate and free these fathers, mothers and children.

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Blogger Kyrsten Skulborstad said...

Thank you so much for highlighting the work of God through International Justice Mission, Jonathan. Stories like Viswanathan's are always encouraging to encounter.

After taking a look further into your blog, it is evident that you are passionate about seeing modern-day slavery come to an end. And as you know, we at IJM are as well.

To this cause, we invite you to take a look at and view the film’s 2-minute trailer, narrated by Danny Glover and produced by International Justice Mission.

After learning more about the documentary, it is our hope that you will decide to play an integral part in participating in the "At the End of Slavery" blog tour. You can take part by writing a short post about the film and linking to between November 2 – November 6, 2009. On the same day you post, we will link back to your site on the News/Updates section of the film's site, and reference it as a place to go to learn more about modern-day slavery.

Our hope is that "At the End of Slavery" would help catalyze the broader movement to end modern-day slavery worldwide, and we would greatly value your involvement as we take on this exciting endeavor.

Please reply to before Monday, October 19 to let us know whether or not you would like to take part in the "At the End of Slavery" blog tour, and on what date you would like to participate.

Also, if you or someone you know are interested in hosting a watch party or church screening on November 14, 2009 – "The Weekend to End Slavery" – please feel free to learn more on the Web site.

Thank you for considering partnering with us, and for your heart-felt work in raising awareness of modern-day slavery. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


Kyrsten Skulborstad
Communications Department
International Justice Mission

"A film alone cannot end slavery, but all of us together – we can." – International Justice Mission

October 12, 2009 at 5:15 PM  

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