Finding Freedom International exists to demonstrate the love of God by restoring the lives of women and children rescued from sexual abuse and modern day slavery.
Four years ago we set out to address the issue of human trafficking acting as the hands and feet of Jesus by serving people in desperate need. Over 30 million people are victims of human trafficking. In fact, there are more people enslaved today than at any other time in human history.
Sex traffickers prey on women and children and families trapped in poverty. For all practical purposes, once sold or kidnapped into a life of slavery and sexual exploitation there is no way to escape without the help of an outside person or safe house dedicated to rescuing these victims.
In response to this need, Finding Freedom International was created to partner with established safe houses in countries around the world to implement programs providing healing and restoration to girls rescued from sex trafficking.
It all began in 2005 when our founder, Tera Shatsky, traveled to Sri Lanka and Thailand as part of a group relief effort in response to a devastating earthquake and Tsunami. During this trip Tera witnessed first-hand girls, some as young as 11 years old, being sold for sex every day, multiple times per day. She returned to her life in Newport Beach, California and wrestled with these haunting images for several years before starting a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing the global crisis of sex trafficking.
As she began working with safe houses around the world, Tera observed a disturbing trend that had seemingly gone unaddressed. The caregivers and volunteers running most safe houses, while possessing amazing hearts and a commitment to help, were without training and adequate support. They were working in the trenches – 24/7 – reaching out, rescuing and helping to restore women and children who were being victimized and sexually exploited.
Imagine you’re an expert auto mechanic who loves working on cars. You visit a place like Mexico City and spend an entire week fixing as many broken vehicles as you can, then leave. Wouldn’t it be better to spend the week training a room of like-minded people to be auto mechanics so that they can continue to repair cars year-round?
Our direction became clear. Finding Freedom would provide restoration and healing by equipping the warriors on the front lines of this battle – the caregivers and safe house workers – with the tools and training necessary to minister to rescued woman and children.
Today Finding Freedom International partners with safe houses in countries around the world to provide long-term term healing and help fully restore girls – mind, body and spirit. Utilizing an internally developed curriculum consisting of training classes, dream workshops for girls, and a process of modeling, mentoring and coaching, we equip caregivers and safe house staff with the training, tools and support necessary to fully restore the girls to wholeness. These caregivers are daily selfless, heroes in our eyes and are in need of assistance, training and care for themselves, otherwise they are in danger of “burn-out” which leads to giving up.
As we know “you can’t give what you don’t have to give away.”
Finding Freedom’s mission of restoring lives from sex abuse and modern day slavery is manifested through a complete program of training and counseling as well as filling in the gaps by assisting where needed with physical needs such as housing, medical, dental, eye care, schooling and vocational training.