More reading, less trafficking

By June 18, 2013

Indonesia (MNN) — Did you know that literacy can make a difference in whether or not a child is trafficked?

There are many different factors that go into trafficking crimes. Traffickers will often approach vulnerable families with promises of marriage to foreigners or employment for their kids.

But Washington, D.C.’s Literacy Coalition has found that if children and their families can read, they are more likely to know their legal rights and avoid trafficking ploys.

Sumatra is the second-largest island in Indonesia, and it has a trafficking problem. There are several sea ports where ships can hop back and forth between North Sumatra and Malaysia, making it an easy route for traffickers.

Furthermore, around 500,000 people in North Sumatra can’t read. Most of them are women.

Food for the Hungry (FH) just kicked off literacy classes for kids in four North Sumatran villages.

In the various FH education initiatives, staff members visit families who aren't sending their kids to school. They encourage parents in the value of an education for their children and try to get the kids enrolled.

Once a child is in an FH educational program, he or she is advised to finish High School and pursue a college degree. Education and literacy open doors that would’ve otherwise been closed to an illiterate adult, decreasing trafficking risk.

And since North Sumatra is primarily Muslim, a Bible-based education through FH is critical. Kids are getting an exposure to the Gospel—maybe even for the first time—through this ministry.

Pray for the kids enrolled in FH literacy classes. Pray for North Sumatra to address trafficking and illiteracy issues.

Click here to support FH in their educational ministries.

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