Here's your weekly update on what's going on in some of the countries where Compassion works!
Colombia- This is a news story about one specific family, but it brings to light two issues: what happens when families are faced with such abject poverty that it leads to desperation, and the kind of trafficking and exploitation kids around the world face every day. A Colombian woman was arrested this week after it was found out that she sold the virginity of her daughters- 12 of them- for about $200 a piece, to make ends meet. Girls are trafficked and abused all around the world, and I think that often it can be traced right back to poverty- girls being sold because their family needs the money, kids born into brothels and raised to grow up to be prostitutes because their moms can't buy food any other way. It's so sad. Pray for this family, but really, this could happen anywhere. It does happen everywhere.
India- Recent rains in eastern India have caused quite a bit of flooding, which has killed 16 people so far. My mother in law is currently in eastern India and told me yesterday in an email that it has been raining a lot there- she is safe, though. Pray for the people affected by this flooding, that they will be able to rebuild quickly and will be able to avoid some of the problems that come with flooding, which includes the rapid spread of disease. Pray for the Compassion centers in the area as they work to meet the needs of the people there, both physical and spiritual.
Dominican Republic- For a while now, the Domican Republic has been struggling with the influx of people from Haiti. Both countries share the same island, but economically, the DR is having an easier time of things than Haiti. Therefore, a lot of people from Haiti try to find work in the DR or even move there. This has led the Dominican government to crack down on immigration in recent years, just trying to keep things steady and regulated. It's understandable. Anyway, at the moment, many Dominicans of Haitian descent are about to be stripped of their citizenship, because when they were born, their parents were in the country illegally. They will lose their citizenship even if they have never been to Haiti or left the DR. It's causing a lot of political unrest in the region. Pray for the governments of both Haiti and the Dominican Republic, that they won't become hostile. Pray for the people who are facing losing their citizenship and identity. Pray for both nations, that their economies will improve, because they are really struggling.
Kenya- Again, this is another story that happened in one country but illuminates issues in all countries. In this case, we're talking about violence against women, gender inequality, and the mishandling of justice. A few weeks ago, a 16 year old girl was raped while she was on her way home from a relative's funeral. The attack was more violent than just sexual assault, however- she has been left permanently disabled as a result of the violence. There are fundraisers to raise money for her medical bills. The girl, who has been nicknamed Liz, was able to identify some of her attackers. Neighbors took the attackers to the police station. The police's response? Have the attackers mow the grass around the station, then set them free. Obviously people are outraged. Pray that justice will be served against the people who attacked this girl. Pray that girls around the world would stop being attacked like this, and pray that governments would realize it's in the best interest of everyone to protect ALL their citizens and give fair punishments for crimes.