A Change of Guard

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Saturday, 1 October 2011

310 Miles Through Cambodia, 8867 Miles From Bridgewater

I am saying farewell as I begin my quest to bike through Cambodia to save lives.

This column has been about raising awareness on local and nearby businesses, people and places. I have made a handful of recipes with local products, been moved by local organizations doing good and swam in a lake with deep routed history. But now it is time for me to raise awareness on one of my biggest projects—ending modern-day slavery.

After traveling through South East Asia, I became aware of modern-day slavery. I saw girls, young girls no older than 12, outside of brothels, luring in people passing by. My heart broke and continues to break as this billion-dollar industry continues.

When I returned home, I reached out to the Somaly Mam Foundation. I watched videos of survival stories, I read Somaly Mam’s painful and heroic autobiography, I became aware.

Somaly Mam’s strength and dedication toward ending sexual slavery has inspired me to make a difference. The survivors heart breaking stories empower me to make a difference.

From Feb. 28 to March 10, I will be cycling through Cambodia- approximately 310 miles—and visiting survivors at the shelters with the Somaly Mam Foundation, Project Futures global and 29 other activists.

Our journey will raise awareness and funds to help end sex slavery. It will be tough, but not as tough as the journey these victims face.

My journey writing for Patch actually helped me in the discovery of this journey. It was because I was able to contribute while oversees that I dug deeper into the country to learn, feel and see more. My column helped me discover hidden things in Cambodia—not all beautiful, but all worth discovering.

The Somaly Mam Foundation works to eradicate modern-day slavery, rehabilitate and empower victims. The foundation supports rescue projects, shelters and rehabilitation programs.

I am hoping this journey will shed light on this global crisis and create action. I would love for you all to continue to support me as I embark on a new journey. If you would like to do so, visit my site.


Anonymous said...

I dont know how you will do it with 80% population is in poverty; I am talking about without running toilet. good luck.

Anonymous said...

Face of Khmr rouge...