End Slavery, Trafficking Humans & Effect Rescue
ESTHER MINISTRY of St. Joseph strives to understand the issues, causes and consequences of human trafficking in today’s world and to educate our parish and community about this modern slavery.
As a ministry, we take part in efforts that promote education, awareness, prevention, justice and healing for the tragedy of human trafficking.
We offer our prayers for the protection of all vulnerable people through the intercession of our Patron, St. Josephine Bakhita, to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
SIGNS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
- Physical/mental abuse: cuts, bruises, fear, overly submissive behavior
- Workplace abuse: not being paid, no time off, no control over services provided
- Being controlled: no eye-contact, unable to speak for self, ID taken away, threats
February 2021: Despite the pandemic, ESTHER Ministry has been working hard to live out our mission-End Slavery, Trafficking Humans and Effect Recue:
Humanitarian Outreach-This past year presented additional challenges due to COVID-19. Street Outreach organizations needed PPE (masks, hand sanitizers and gloves) and more hygiene kits in addition to clothing, comfort items and food gift cards. With stores closed and unable to get together to assemble Humanitarian Bags, we ordered these items online and used a member’s garage as a central distribution point. In the same manner, we provided the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) with PPE, hygiene kits and over 250 outfits for CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) girls and boys. In total, we provided over 6000 items of PPE, hygiene kits, clothing and food.
US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking-At the request of Sr. Kathleen Bryant, RSC, ESTHER Ministry contributed a Reflection for US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking on how Queen Esther continues to inspire our Ministry. https://sistersagainsttrafficking.org/february-2021-monthly-reflection/ As our Ministry’s namesake, we are also called upon to fight against modern day slavery happening all around us. Pope Francis reminds us that those who suffer from this modern-day slavery are the “least among us” and we are called to renew our commitment to improve the human condition.
Southern California Partners for Global Justice-ESTHER Ministry is a member of SCPGJ, a coalition of religious communities, organizations, and agencies which support each other to address issues of global injustice as well as collaborate and network to educate, advocate, and take action on issues and situations that deny the human rights and dignity. Follow SCPGJ at: Southern California Partners for Global Justice – Home | Facebook
YESS 2021-As a Core Team member of the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force, Esther Ministry collaborated with Long Beach Unified School District and Artists for Change to present Youth Empowerment Safety Symposium 2021. It included an advance screening of the short film Lost Girls and a streamed event with an interview of the director and cast of Lost Girls as well as a panel discussion of experts on human trafficking answering questions from LBUSD students. Over 200 people watched the live event and many more viewed later on YouTube.
You can watch YESS 2021 at: https://youtu.be/pEioxXm8mR4
You can watch Lost Girls at: https://vimeo.com/500694104 Password: Lost
Contact-If you want more info or to be added to our mailing list, please email: email@example.com
Donations-If you want to contribute, please send your donations to St. Joseph Church, 6180 E. Willow St., Long Beach CA 90815. Make checks payable to St. Joseph Church and indicate ESTHER Ministry on the memo line.
ESTHER Ministry presents at USCCB World Day against Trafficking in Persons webinar.
- April – The Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force partnered with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach to raise awareness of human trafficking. The Task Force had a resource table and Barbie Box, dramatizing that children are not for sale, next to the Long Beach Police Department to reinforce their joint effort in this fight.
- September – USCCB Anti-Trafficking Newsletter
- November – ESTHER held a community event called Become a Shepherd with LA County Sheriff Jim McDonnell as our keynote speaker. Victim Assistant Specialist Rohida Khan from Homeland Security spoke about our collaboration and assistance. Members of the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force, including Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Human Trafficking (CAST), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Long Beach Community College Foster Care and GEMS Uncovered, had resource tables. Over 100 people attended and guests assembled hygiene kits for Humanitarian Bags.
- Humanitarian Event – Each year ESTHER makes over 100 Humanitarian Bags consisting of basic necessities for the first few hours a survivor comes into contact with one of our agency partners. These backpacks, filled with hygiene products, clothing, socks, flip flops and comfort items like blankets, books and stuffed animals, were given to survivors through the Long Beach Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, Homeland Security, CAST, Saving Innocence, Aviva Family and Children’s Services, GEMS Uncovered and Dream Center. Members of St. Joseph Parish and St. Bartholomew Parish help with this effort by donating goods, services and money. ESTHER also receives support from CRS through a Rice Bowl grant.
- For immediate law enforcement when you observe Human Trafficking: Call 911
- Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST): 1 888 539-2373 / www.cast.org
- National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 1 888 373-7888 / (free text 233733) / www.polarisproject.org
- St. Joseph Church | ESTHER Ministry | firstname.lastname@example.org