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December 17, 2018 - No Comments!

How ZOE Is Rescuing Every Child

by Lori-Ann Tsang

Sometimes, the best things we do in life are the things we do proactively.  Especially, when we plan for, anticipate and then are able to save a life or prevent a tragedy or make sure those entrusted to us are safe.  A lot of what we do at ZOE comes after a child has been victimized. We are part of their RESCUE and RESTORATION. But we also know that we need to be preventative (proactive).  That is why another large part of what we do is PREVENTION.

Our team goes at least twice a month to villages and schools to educate children, families and communities about Human Trafficking and how traffickers will lie or manipulate their way into a community, earn trust and then traffick a child.  This is pretty weighty information. Especially when you are looking at a presenting it to children between the ages of 2 to 10 years old.

Recently, our team wondered how they were going to navigate this and tailor their presentation to these precious young ones. What happened exceeded all their expectations. “We were amazed by their attention.  They are smart and bold,” our team reported. As they were finishing up, they asked the children if they had any questions. The question that came was surprisingly insightful and beyond this child’s young years.  “What if I saw trafficking in my village, who will I notify and what if the one I informed was the suspect, what should I do?” Our team was able to address this question and ease this child’s fears. Giving them knowledge and tools that they can use to keep themselves and their friends safe… to never be trafficked… to give them hope for their future. This is how we are RESCUING every child.

December 6, 2018 - No Comments!

What’s In a Diagnosis?

By Jessicah Ray, PA-C

Why is a diagnosis of human trafficking important?
Human trafficking is internationally recognized as a public health problem with over 40.3 million victims identified, and with one-quarter of those being children. (Dovydaitis, 2010, Fink-Samnick, 2018).

In response to this global epidemic, hospitals and clinics are joining the mission to end human trafficking as the intercessors and advocates of the most vulnerable by improving diagnostic skills (Andrews, 2018). Because 86% of human trafficking victims are in contact with health care providers during the time of exploitation, multiple health initiatives are being launched to train providers how to identify human trafficking patients, safely report the abuse, and who to contact for intervention resources. (Dovydaitis, 2010). Health care providers have the critical opportunity to intervene by identifying the cause of the abuse with the correct diagnosis, treating the acute medical conditions, and developing a treatment plan with a specialty team. (Dovydaitis, 2010).

An unexpected tool of medical coding (ICD-10 codes) is now aiding the effort to combat these crimes against humanity. To better identify human trafficking victims, specific ICD-10 T codes have been produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and released in October of 2018 (American Hospital Association, 2018; Fink-Samnick, 2018) to enhance the accurate identification and diagnosis of human trafficking, and to distinguish from other diagnoses such as domestic violence, prostitution, or child abuse.

Why is the correct medical code (ICD-10) important?
1)    Special care: Human trafficking victims are at increased risk of chronic injuries, complex psychological health problems, and social/legal considerations that warrant long-term multidisciplinary care and comprehensive resources. With the proper diagnosis, those care options are more readily available through established response protocols and automated referral systems.

2)    Informing Policy: Human trafficking statistics are notoriously underestimated due to underreporting, misdiagnosis, and the victim’s inaccessibility to health care. Medical codes are used to quantify and validate the needs of patients to better inform health policy where and how funds should be allocated. Data from these codes drives the financing for the needed prevention, rescue, and restoration resources.

Where should you go?
The American Hospital Association (2018) provides a complete list and guide for the new ICD-10 T codes:

What else can I do?
Multiple resources are available for multidisciplinary professionals to learn about human trafficking and improve identification, treatment, and response protocols in their hospitals and clinics. Consider joining an anti-trafficking organization or committee such as with Health, Education, Advocacy, and Linkage (HEAL) Trafficking: https://healtrafficking.org/.

References
American Hospital Association. (2018). ICD-10-CM coding for human trafficking. Retrieved from https://www.aha.org/icd-10-cm-coding-human-trafficking-resource

Andrews, M. (2018, July 24). Hospitals gear up for new diagnosis: Human trafficking.National Public Radio. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/07/24/631517533/hospitals-gear-up-for-new-diagnosis-human-trafficking

Dovydaitis, T. (2010). Human trafficking: The role of the health care provider. Journal of midwifery & women's health55(5), 462-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmwh.2009.12.017

Fink-Samnick, E. (2018, September 24). Human trafficking: New ICD-10 codes empower efforts to identify and aid victims. ICD10monitor. Retrieved from https://www.icd10monitor.com/human-trafficking-new-icd-10-codes-empower-efforts-to-identify-and-aid-victims

Heal Trafficking. (2018). Homepage. Retrieved from https://healtrafficking.org/

November 27, 2018 - No Comments!

Teachers Who Inspire

by Andrea Cross

The teachers at ZOE are hard-working, kind, patient, dedicated, professionals that help to steer children’s lives in a positive direction.  These teachers help create an environment where students feel safe, are able to concentrate, and develop into independent learners.

Every teacher needs professional development—in the form of practical training—so that they can safely and confidently focus on teaching. And every student deserves the benefits of a safe and productive learning environment.  Just like the training required for any specialized profession, teachers must receive ongoing training.

Four of our ZOE teachers recently attended a professional development training where they learnt about several topics, one of them being, Emotional Regulation Strategies.

At the training, they had the opportunity to learn from and exchange ideas with others which, they said, helped them to understand more about working with and accepting other people’s opinions as well as analyzing problems. They also said they got many new ideas from the lecturer that will be practical tools for both their work and personal lives.

I once read a quote that said, a mediocre teacher “tells”... a good teacher “explains”... a superior teacher “demonstrates” but a great teacher “inspires”.

What a privilege it is to have teachers that inspire, motivate and shape our students to want to be the best that they can be.

Most of us would be able to testify to the fact that we have reached many of our life’s achievements because of the joint effort of many encouraging teachers along the way that helped to shape and direct us. We are so thankful for the ZOE teachers who continue to improve at their profession by striving to do their best, participating in ongoing professional development and inspiring their students!

November 20, 2018 - No Comments!

Thankfulness is ZOE Culture

This time of year we are reminded to ponder the things we are thankful for.  God has called us to be continually thankful which is something we should all strive to do.  Although Thanksgiving is an American Holiday, the act of ‘thanksgiving’ is very much Kingdom culture and also ZOE culture.  

Our hearts overflow with joy and thanksgiving at ZOE when we see that God is transforming our children’s hearts.  Recently, one of our children came excitedly up to her mom with an idea. Apparently it had become very obvious to her the amount of money it cost to care for her and the rest of the ZOE children.  She was so moved by this that she wanted to help raise money to contribute. She was thankful and out of her thankfulness she was moved to action.

We feel a personal responsibility to continually be thanking God for you, our spiritual family, every time we pray. And we have every reason to do so because your faith is growing marvelously beyond measure. The unselfish love each of you share for one another is increasing and overflowing! - 2 Thessalonians 1:3, TPT

This verse is a prayer not only for the children in our care but for all of you who partner with us to see every person REACHED and every child RESCUED.  

We are continually thanking God for you!

November 15, 2018 - No Comments!

Internships Off Campus

by Lori-Ann Tsang

We firmly believe that God “knows the plans He has for our children… plans to prosper them and not to harm them, plans to give them hope and a future.”  We not only believe this for each of the children in our care; we believe this for every child - even those who have not yet been rescued.

Practically this belief is realized in everyday pouring into their lives.  Teaching them, loving them and in giving them opportunities to expand their learning and broaden their horizons. 

During a recent school break, our staff and teachers arranged for our 9th graders to do a week of internship with some local businesses. They were able to intern at a motorcycle service shop, a village restaurant or a shop at the local hot springs.  The shop owners were very impressed with our youth as they acted in a responsible, enthusiastic and hard-working manner. The skills learned, and time spent doing these internships, sowed important values and skills into our children’s lives.

Did you know that the majority of working class Thai nationals, ride motorcycles?  Cars are very much a luxury. Therefore learning how to service and repair a motorcycle will serve them well as future working class community members.  The time working alongside local business people gave them a real glimpse of what “adult” life will look like. The 9th graders came away understanding more about themselves, what is required and expected in a typical working environment and whether they would continue to pursue work in these areas or not.

Just the other week, a few of us visited the local hot springs to grab a meal together. At the end of the meal, after realizing we were from ZOE, the owner again spoke of how wonderful the students who interned with her had been.  What a privilege to be a part of God’s plans for our children’s hope and future!

November 8, 2018 - No Comments!

Recently Rescued Youth

by Lori-Ann Tsang

ZOE fights for the rights of children who have no one else to fight for them. The children that we rescue come from a range of backgrounds, including being orphaned; on the market to be sold; directly rescued from being labor slaves, begging slaves, and sex slaves or having been subjected to heinous crimes and abuse.  

ZOE will always act in the best interest of each child. Once a child comes into the safety of our care, they are instantly welcomed in and treated like family. Many children only need to stay at ZOE for a short time while evidence is collected, court cases are heard and their situation is assessed. The children and youth who arrive for emergency care and protection at our Child Rescue Center experience love, support, counseling and healing.  God is beginning His restoration process.

  •      For children who are trafficked internationally, ZOE will help repatriate them with their family, sending a team across country borders, to help a child settle back home. ZOE will remain connected with these children and their families to be confident that they are continuing to be cared for.
  •      For children who are trafficked domestically, ZOE will help reunite and reintegrate them with their family.  With support, including trafficking awareness education, as a priority, these families are given the best chance to provide long-term safety for their children in future.
  •      If there is no suitable carer, or biological relative who can look after a child, they will continue to live and be cared for within a small family group at ZOE. Even after children reach 18 years of age, they will be taken care of whilst working towards transitioning to semi-independent, and then fully independent living, as they feel ready.

Upon waiting to be reunited with family, one youth recently shared about the change in their attitude that has happened since staying at our ZOE Thailand campus. Prior to being rescued, they shared about wandering away from their family and not really caring about anyone or anything.  Since being with us, there is a desire to return to family and be a part of helping at home, whether it be to cook or do other chores.

“I want to go back to school,” they said. Previously they had no desire to study.  A new sense of responsibility and hope for the future is made possible because of God’s work in this youth’s life and the wonderful counselors and staff that walk along our children.

October 23, 2018 - No Comments!

ZOE Rescue Walk Comes to Hawaii

Contact: Gaile Nitta - ZOE Rescue Walk Hawaii Coordinator
808 542-0850
gailenitta@gmail.com

ZOE International (www.goZOE.org), a non-profit organization that rescues and cares for child victims of human trafficking, is pleased to announce Hawaii’s first-ever ZOE Rescue Walk.

Begun six years ago in Los Angeles, this year’s annual ZOE Rescue Walk will also see participants in Hawaii and Tennessee walking to raise awareness and funds for human trafficking prevention, rescue, and restoration for children in the U.S. and Southeast Asia.

The walk takes place on Saturday, November 3 from 7-9 a.m. at the Mililani High School Track, located at 95-1200 Meheula Parkway in Mililani. This is a non-competitive, family-friendly, all-ages, at-your-own-pace, FUN event! The walk is just under 2 miles. All walkers who register by October 29 will receive a ZOE Walk t-shirt, a hand-crafted ZOE “Hope” bracelet, and a ZOE sticker. Registration is $25 (twenty-five dollars) for walkers 13 years and older. Walkers 12 and under are free, need not register, and will receive a free glow-in-the-dark rubber bracelet while supplies last. (A limited number of youth size t-shirts will also be available on walk day for $5.)

Advance online registration and more information is available at www.ZOERescueWalk.com. Same-day on-site registration is from 6-7 a.m. Be sure to sign up to walk with or support Team No Ka Oi Hawaii! (At this time, our Hawaii team is leading the way nationally in donations raised so far! https://give2.gozoe.org/event/zoe-rescue-walk-2018/e191953 Let’s show our Mainland cousins that Hawaii really is No Ka Oi!

Together, let’s be the UNSTOPPABLE HOPE to children waiting to be rescued from human trafficking and to bring full restoration and healing to those who have been rescued!

(ZOE is the Greek word for “life.”)

October 19, 2018 - No Comments!

Businesses That Care

By Karen Miyamoto

The 6th annual ZOE Rescue Walk is just a few weeks away.  This year's Walk theme is Unstoppable Hope...our hope is unstoppable as we strive to rescue every child and care for them with the love to Jesus!  The event will be on November 3rd, Saturday at LA Mission College/El Cariso Park Sylmar, CA.  Our goal this year is to raise $150,000 and to have 1000 people walking to join the fight against human trafficking.  It’s going to be an amazing day!

Don’t you love businesses that care?  Currently we have 5 Corporate Sponsors that have donated funds to support our Walk.  It’s a great way to show people that your business is doing something to make a difference.  It’s also a great opportunity to gain exposure while supporting a great cause.  Do you own a business or know someone that may want to help sponsor our event?

Sponsorship opportunities start at $250.00.  Below are the different sponsorship levels and benefits:

  • Bronze Level $250.00 – Mention of your business once a month on ZOE social media sites
  • Silver Level $500.00 – Mention of your business once a month on ZOE social media sites, your company logo on the ZOE Rescue Walk website
  • Gold Level $1,000.00 – Mention of your business once a month on ZOE social media sites, your company logo on the ZOE Rescue Walk website, signage at the Rescue Walk
  • Platinum Level $2,500.00+ – Mention of your business once a month on ZOE social media sites, your company logo on the ZOE Rescue Walk website, signage at the Rescue Walk and your company logo in Rescue Walk newsletter (post Walk)

It’s not too late to become a Corporate Sponsor.  We thank you in advance for your consideration!  Check out our Walk website for more info!

October 1, 2018 - No Comments!

Freedom Frees Others

by Abigail Jennerson

Sometimes people ask me what compelled us to move to Thailand to work with ZOE… They ask how we gained this passion to see an end to human trafficking…

After meeting with a woman named Rosi Orozco, I finally have my answer.

I wanted to share about the unique experience my husband and I had with Rosi Orozco. We had the privilege of meeting with Rosi to interview her about trafficking in Mexico. She is a human rights activist in Latin America, with her main focus being human trafficking.

This woman is friends with top political leaders, making amazing strides in policy and restoration. She had just gotten back from a trip to meet with the pope. She is no joke. And so inspiring!

Rosi inspired me to continue fighting for the victims of human trafficking, and to continue fighting in humility.  She brought everyone in our meeting to tears with her powerful words.

When the interview came to a quiet moment, the pastor asking the interview questions tried to thank and compliment Rosi for everything she does for human trafficking victims in Latin America, to which she quickly interrupted him with, “No! We are just blessed. It is just justice.”

Which then led into the greatest monologue I’ve ever had the privilege of hearing. And my answer to anyone who wonders why we decided to move across the world to fight human trafficking:
“The people around us, the victims of human trafficking, have experienced injustice, on top of injustice, on top of injustice. It’s so terrible what they have lived. When we give, we are just doing an act of justice. We are not good people, we are not generous...We are just...just…

From a home where my parents are now 60 years married, a lot of love, I lived in the United States, I lived in Europe, I have everything a person could dream. So when I stand beside [a trafficking victim], I realize that not one of us chose where to be born. So why do I believe I am better or being “generous” to her? It is only justice!

If you were a bank, receiving the deposits of love, of generosity, of blessing, and you feel you are good because you give a check with money? No. They were an empty bank that received zero, and after that they took away their dignity. So, it’s not an act of goodness...no we are not special. We are just conscious of how responsible we are living in this world with so much.”

She said it all! Everything I feel, everything I have wanted to say but never knew how to say!

I grew up in a wonderfully loving family, parents 30+ years married, a loving church community, an amazing husband. So when I stood next to victims of such abuse, neglect and injustice, I knew that all the blessings, all the protection of God on my life, were for the very purpose of helping others experience freedom and blessing!

Friends, we––me, you, ZOE––give because it is our responsibility.
We give because we were given SO much.
We give because we are blessed.

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” ––Nelson Mandela

September 17, 2018 - No Comments!

Support for Parents of CSEC

by Marji Iacovetti

This summer, LA County launched a pilot program to support parents of Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC). ZOE was privileged to support the county’s efforts.

The weekly meetings were held at a church and were led by two experienced and caring clinicians – one from the Department of Mental Health and another from an organization called Saving Innocence. Members of the church demonstrated God’s love as they opened their hearts as well as their facilities. They greeted the women warmly, served them dinner, and provided childcare.

Eight mothers attended regularly. These precious moms wept for their children, bonded with each other, and learned valuable information. It was an honor to serve them. Human trafficking not only brutalizes the victims, but also violates their families. Please pray for mothers, fathers, other caregivers, and siblings whose hearts ache over the harm experienced by their loved ones.

Community partnerships are key to healing for survivors and their families. If your church has capacity to be a resource and partner in the fight against child trafficking, please email info@gozoe.org.