'Open My Eyes' is dedicated to the children rescued through ZOE Australia
There are some things that are so dark and distorted, you wonder how they could possibly be someone's reality. Sadly, such is the case for millions of children who are sold as slaves into the child trafficking industry. Child trafficking is considered the second largest source of illegal income, behind the illegal drug trade. It's an estimated $200 billion industry, with almost a third of profits generated in wealthy industrialised countries like Australia. Shockingly, human trafficking is a relatively high profit, low-risk crime.
It is horrifying to even think about what these children must be subject to. However, the first step to making a difference is awareness.
I first learnt of the ZOE Foundation back in 2014, as I had friends who were board members. The ZOE Foundation exists to deliver the prevention of child trafficking, the rescue of children who are sold, or are at risk of being sold into prostitution, bonded labour or other heinous crimes or abuse and, the restoration of survivors.
ZOE Australia is run by David and Andrea Cross, an Australian couple that moved their family over to Thailand and have dedicated their lives to the rescue and recovery of exploited children.
Once victims have been identified, the team works with the dedicated men and women in the government’s social services, legal services and law enforcement to conduct rescue operations.
Rescued children are placed in a 'family' model of care. ZOE 'parents' are indigenous staff who are trained in trauma-informed care and who look after the day-to-day needs of children in their family. The goal of the restoration program is to help rescued children heal from the trauma of their past and to have a renewed hope for their future.
I, along with many others, am deeply moved by the evil that exists in our world. I am aware that the situation can seem so hopeless and heavy; however I also know that our prayers and our actions can move mountains.
25% of the sales from the 'Eternity' Art Collection will support Zoe's area of greatest need. Zoe is run so efficiently and generously by volunteers that administration fees are only 10% of their total costs.
To learn more about the Zoe Foundation and how you can make a difference, please browse the links below.