This morning I reluctantly watched the video on child labor in the Democratic Republic of Congo on last week’s OP Peace News. Tears came to my eyes as a watched the interview of an 11-year-old boy who just wants to go to school, but he has to make money for his family. He works in cobalt mines; this part of the child trafficking that is rampant in the county.
As Sr.Barb pointed out, the DRC’s situation is dire.
There is some light, both there and in our country. (watch the video to see the Sisters who with their school are making a difference!
Today I write about the light of Freedom House Detroit. Freedom House states their mission as follows:
“… a temporary home for indigent survivors of persecution from around the world who are seeking asylum in the United States and Canada. Our mission is to uphold a fundamental American principle, one inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty, providing safety for those “yearning to breathe free.” In 2012 we became a formal partner in the Northern Tier Anti-Trafficking Consortium servicing victims of human trafficking. “ (retrieved 12/9/18)
Freedom House offers comprehensive free services to survivors, including legal counsel and English learning. They have an extremely high success rate in helping their residents gain asylum in the United States. Columbus has a nonprofit organization called Community Refugee and Immigrant Services that provides similar services.
At the Mid-West Fall Mission Group, four residents and the executive director of Freedom House came to present to us. We were witness to the story of a young Congolese Woman refugee who was sexually assaulted before fleeing from the DRC. Her pain, fear, and trauma were apparent as she haltingly shared with us her story. Deb the executive director and other Freedom House Community Members lovingly placed a hand on her shoulder; many of us who listened breathed out compassion and support in the patient silence and rapt attention accentuated with subdued sniffles indictive of tears. Today, I pray for this young woman and all women and children of the DRC. I am glad that in addition to praying, our community is supporting places like Freedom House financially.