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Climb for freedom in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

By March 8, 2016

USA (MNN) — Today is International Women’s Day. And if you don’t have plans for July 31-August 5, consider signing up for this year’s Freedom Challenge event in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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(Photo Courtesy Freedom Challenge via Facebook)

Tina Yeager with Operation Mobilization’s Freedom Challenge explains, “For the freedom challenge, our heart is that women would know where their value comes from and that they have dignity and they’re made in the image of Christ. Women’s Day for us represents universally, around the world, the freedom and the awareness of who we are in Christ. We want women everywhere to know who they are and the value that they have.”

What it is.

The Freedom Challenge, part of Operation Mobilization, is a movement of women helping to end oppression and slavery through activities challenging the body such as mountain climbing. It involves daily hiking and cycling excursions for all experience levels around the Grand Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels available.

In the months preparing for the Freedom Challenge, participants fundraise a set amount of money while raising awareness about modern day slavery and oppression. The money from the event is used to prevent, reduce, and fight the same slavery and oppression.

Why It Matters

“All over the world we see women who don’t have the value that men have. In some instances, it has nothing to do with the male and female as much as it has the social ladder in places like India, where they are the lesser of the lesser if they’re a Dalit female. They’re under the dogs and the animals as far as value,” says Yeager.

(Photo Courtesy Freedom Challenge via Facebook)

(Photo Courtesy Freedom Challenge via Facebook)

Social norms and traditions play a large role in how women are treated. Today there are still young girls sold as child brides to older men, unable to get an education and denied basic human rights because they are female. But there’s more to it than society.

Poverty plays a very large role in modern day slavery and oppression. Families will sell their daughters to bring in money to feed themselves and other children. Girls from families like this are purposely targeted because of their vulnerability. Human trafficking statistics show 80% of those trafficked and being oppressed are women and children.

Freedom Challenge’s Impact

The Freedom Challenge is empowering women and helping change the ways societies view them and their vulnerabilities. The event rallies all types of women–wives, sisters, executives, teachers, artists–to help free oppressed and enslaved women and children around the world.

“One specifically was amazing in changing the whole way a community thought about child brides. These women came together in their self-help group, and they decided that they weren’t going to allow their children to be married before they were eighteen,” explains Yeager. Once their husbands agreed to not marry off their children at young ages, the whole community was soon behind the idea.

(Photo Courtesy Freedom Challenge via Facebook)

(Photo Courtesy Freedom Challenge via Facebook)

Freedom Challenge also helps prevent child trafficking through education and meals. A lot of times, kids who are able to attend school are unable to focus because they haven’t had food.

Freedom Challenge helps provide kids with a meal during school–and sometimes it’s the only food they have all day.

Furthermore, Education helps decrease the risk of being trafficked by opening doors and offering hope for these kids’ futures.

In addition to focusing on the physical aspects of slavery and oppression, Freedom Challenge also focuses on the spiritual.

“We believe that everything we do has to include the Gospel so that people know who they are in Christ so that they do have true freedom, which only comes from having a relationship with Jesus Christ,” explains Yeager.

And guess what: you can take part in freeing women and children from modern day slavery and oppression by teaming up with Freedom Challenge this summer.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

July 31 to August 5 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, women from around the world will gather for a time of fellowship, education, and hiking after the long period of raising awareness and fundraising. So far, this year’s event is the biggest yet with 300 women attending, but there’s room for more!

(Photo Courtesy Freedom Challenge via Facebook)

(Photo Courtesy Freedom Challenge via Facebook)

“The whole goal…is to raise funds and to raise awareness of these atrocities. We provide you with all the tools, everything you need, to be able to raise those funds and lots of support. And God just opens the doors amazingly when women say yes,” says Yeager.

The Freedom Challenge is also a chance for the women participating to have intentional time with God. To help, the organization has partnered with Solid Rock Outdoor Ministries who provides outdoor ministry events.

“We’re just excited to see what God does for the women who say yes, because we know that He has called us there, and He’s going to do something amazing for the women and children that we’re climbing on behalf of–but also for the women who attend,” exclaims Yeager.

Event Information

Location: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Date: July 31 – August 5
Fundraising Amount: $5,000
Theme: Pledge for Parity
Register: Click Here!

Registration ends April 15.

Facts

  • 30 million people are enslaved or oppressed around the world today.
  • 24 million of these are women and children.
  • 12 million are underage children.

Every 30 seconds someone becomes a slave. You can help change this.

Join Freedom Challenge.

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