International (MNN) — Human trafficking, prostitution, drugs, and organized crime are all issues facing young people around the world. For the countries of India and Ukraine, God is using one ministry to make a difference in the lives of young people.
In part three of our five-part series on the ministry of Global Action, we're focusing on their vocational training for young people in India and Ukraine.
President of Global Action Phil Long says the program came about after observing at-risk young people in Ukraine. "We saw thousands of young people–especially young women–going into prostitution, or being sold into prostitution, or being trafficked into sexual trade. So we began to look into that and asked, 'Why is that happening?' It came down to economics."
That's why Global Action started The Dream Project. Long says, "If we can keep them from getting started in that in the first place by providing something else for them to do to bring in an income, we wouldn't have thousands of people going into those dark areas."
Long says, "We have a training center in the Ukraine, in Eastern Europe. And we have several training centers in Northern India."
In Ukraine, Global Action has started vocational classes teaching cosmetology. "Right now there are about 30 girls in our Dream projects that are going through those programs and will graduate in May." These girls will start vocational training in the fall, graduate in the Spring, and then either begin working for themselves or for another company.
Long says The Dream Project not only teaches them a vacation, it also teaches them about Christ. Are they committing their hearts to Christ? "We have seen a large percentage of these girls come to know Christ because they've gone through this program. It's not necessarily by what we teach them in the program, but by the lives of the people that they work with from our organization."
In India, Global Action is working in several areas where human trafficking is prevalent. They are focusing on tailoring, cosmetology, and other similar programs. Long says funding is needed to open the program up to even more young people. "The more we have coming in, the more people that we can reach," says Long.
Funding is needed to help purchase equipment for cosmetology and sewing. Those items are then invested back to the young people so they can start their businesses when they graduate from the program.