A mission in India meets direct needs for over 100 years
“This is the lake where many prostitutes have taken their own life,” says Timothy, a local Mukti partner. “The women find that they can’t continue the lifestyle they are ensnared in and see suicide as the only necessary action to escape from it.”
As Aaron Rogers, COO of Global Aid Network (GAiN), stood looking out at the lake through a large window, he was saddened by the inner turmoil those women must have experienced. Yet, at the same time, he was encouraged with the building he was standing in; a community center that Timothy had built, which sat right beside the lake and offered a source of hope and counsel to those in bondage. This strategic place of refuge would not be there if it weren’t for the key role that Mukti played in Timothy’s life.
Mukti, a mission founded in 1889 in India, had taken Timothy in as a boy and provided him with shelter, medical care, education, spiritual care and love. Today, as a middle-aged man, his life purpose is to give back and show others the same care he received as a child. He now works in the red light districts of Miraj, a province in the western part of India that has a total of approximately 4,000 sex trade workers. Beaten a few times, Timothy continually risks his life while rescuing children of prostitutes and placing them in safe homes.
In March 2011, Aaron and Bill Blaney, GAiN’s CEO & Director, visited a few of those homes. In each location, the children shared their stories as well as their dreams for their lives; many expressing the desire to become teachers, nurses, doctors and social workers.
One of the many children Aaron met was an eleven-year old girl who was rescued by Timothy. Initially, she was in one of the shelters for only a few short days until her mother’s pimp found her and took her back to the red light district where she was raped. With an unwavering determination, Timothy searched for her and once again she was rescued. Today, she is safe!
In addition to Timothy’s loving shelters, Aaron visited many of Mukti’s expansion homes. While some of the children in these homes are orphans, most of the children come from tribal backgrounds where one or both parents are bonded laborers; field workers that will never be able to repay the money they owe their landlords. As a result, the families are enslaved for life and the children, especially the girls, grow up with no future.
Mukti’s primary focus is to provide secure homes for destitute women, widows and children where they find care and acceptance regardless of their backgrounds. The aim is to change lives through a range of initiatives that demonstrate, in a practical way, the love of God to individuals throughout India.
To help support the communities surrounding the homes, Mukti also offers other essential services such as
• a hospital and mobile medical clinic
• a farm
• community development projects
• schools and vocational training courses
As of July 1, 2011, Ramabai Mukti Mission (Canada), who has been in existence since 1960, has entrusted the work they have been doing to GAiN, which means that Global Aid Network will become Mukti India’s partner in Canada. Aaron states, “This transition excites me! Since caring for widows and orphans is one of GAiN’s core areas, this official partnership is seamless and timely.”
In June 2010, GAiN began a working relationship with Mukti by sending Dr. George Rhoades Jr., GAiN’s Director of Trauma Counseling, and Faith Wilkes, Trauma Counselor, to Mukti where they trained several caregivers and staff on how to deal with various issues they faced. They also met with the children and discussed topics that were troubling and burdensome for each child.
After a successful trip, both GAiN and Mukti saw that they shared a like-minded heart, and discussions were held with regards to a future partnership.
Under GAiN, Mukti Canada will now have an opportunity to reach a much wider audience, grow its donor base and sponsors, and ensure that the promotion of Mukti’s work will continue across Canada in the years to come.
With GAiN taking the role of Mukti Canada, one of the first goals is to find partners who will step forward and help sponsor either a child, destitute woman or widow. On Aaron’s trip in March, approximately 50% of the children from the expansion homes had no sponors, which means there is much work that needs to be done.
GAiN also plans to come alongside Mukti and help in a few additional ways. In August, a LIFE Team will travel to Mukti for two weeks to work with the orphans, help with construction, conduct a few medical clinics and encourage the staff. This project is one of many that are planned for the upcoming year.
Dr. George Rhoades Jr. and a few other trauma counselors will also return to continue the training that was started.
The Marathi word ‘mukti’ means freedom, liberation and salvation. If it wasn’t for the partner that sponsored Timothy several years ago, many women and children would not have been freed and rescued from a life of prostitution.
With Mukti’s history of transforming the lives of hundreds of individuals, GAiN has a fantastic opportunity to help with that impact!