USA (MNN) — If you have heard anything about the worldwide human trafficking crisis, you've likely heard this statistic: over 30 million people are victims of trafficking in the world today.
That number is overwhelming. It's the equivalent of putting the entire nation of Peru–plus a few–in slavery. It can be difficult to know where to even begin to tackle a country-sized problem that's spread out to every nation in the world.
But Operation Mobilization has found one small, yet significant way for families to do something about it: the Freedom Climb.
Sharon Scott went on OM's last Freedom Climb up Tanzania's famous Mt. Kilimanjaro. She and 47 other women climbed the 19,000-foot mountain to raise awareness and funds for OM projects fighting trafficking. The trek raised over $400,000 for OM to prevent trafficking and spread the Gospel across the globe.
"We have [projects in] India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Zambia, Asia, Nearest, Middle East, Costa Rica, Mozambique, Cambodia, and Argentina," says Scott. Funds went to assist all of these.
OM is recreating this climb in several new places now. The Kilimanjaro climb took a great deal of commitment and strength. It would be quite a feat for a family to do it together. Freedom Climb Atlanta, however, is on a much smaller scale, suitable for families.
Why get the whole family involved this time? Scott explains: "This cause also affects not just women, but young children. I think as a result of this local event, we can also tune our kids in to the crisis around the world."
Kids who participate in the three-mile climb (1.5 miles both ways on the Sawnee Mountain Preserve) will also gain perspective and perhaps see the heart Christ has for slaves around the globe.
Families who decide to join the climb on the Saturday of Mother's Day weekend, May 12, will pay an entry fee for each participant. That's part of the fund-raising component.
"As you register, the funds go toward our organization, OM, as we seek to develop and maintain projects that we have set up to actually prevent young women and children from getting to this point," notes Scott.
Each registrant will get a t-shirt, and the first 100 to register get a Freedom Bracelet made by the Dalit women in India. Jewelry-making is one of the ways girls there are making money for their families, rather than ending up doing so on the streets.