Facing the Monster:
How Rotarians Are
Fighting Human Trafficking
By Carol Metzker
Thanks for having the
courage to face this
(Although I won’t sugarcoat the truth,
there will not be graphic images or gory
details in the program.)
In 2004, Rotarians from England, Canada and
the U.S.—including myself—gathered in India
to immunize children against polio.
Mark Little, a Rotarian from England, took us
to see a special project.
It changed my life.
My world was turned upside-down when we
visited a center for children rescued from
slavery. I really hadn’t understood that
slavery still existed and that human
trafficking wasn’t just a Hollywood plot.
Maina—an 11-year-old girl rescued from
enslavement in the circus and the sex
trade—was the same age as my daughter.
After crying for ten hours, I vowed to help
end child slavery.
Just to be clear –
are unable to leave, and
are held by violence or threat.
Slavery is divided into two
Labor and sex.
There are an estimated 29.8 million people enslaved
worldwide. Slavery is illegal in every country, but
exists everywhere but Iceland and Greenland.
Map Source: Free The Slaves (Washington, DC)
In my own country, the U.S., there are an
estimated 100,000 Americans enslaved (2011
Trafficking in Persons report, U.S. State
Department). They are mostly in the sex trade
According to CNN, 17,000 more people are
trafficked into U.S. per year. Half are kids.
Slavery still exists because of
The best thing I learned was
how to help. (Rotarians are
great at that!)
Rotarians to the Rescue
A Few Projects We’ve Accomplished
Funds from Rotary clubs on three continents, plus a matching
grant, bought a vehicle for a center in India for boys rescued
from slavery. It is used for raid-and-rescue operations, and
transportation for medical and court appointments, and home
after boys are recovered, educated and safe.
Help for a center for girls rescued from
sex slavery in India:
Cows, a cow-shed and a bio-gas system – provide dairy for consuming and
selling, and methane for cooking
Solar streetlamps for safety; solar panels for hot water
Outdoor pavilion for classes and activities, books, sewing machines and more.
Help for Dawn’s Place,
a residence for female survivors of human trafficking in
Besides providing furniture, books and funds for education, every
month for three years a few Rotarians and I have volunteered at
the home. For some survivors, it is their first opportunity to develop
friendships in dignity and freedom.
Blankets for Asha Nepal,
an organization in Nepal that provides homes and counseling for
children of survivors of human trafficking; a residence and rehabilitation
center for female survivors; and a vocational training workshop.
Rotarians and Rotarian Action Group members Stephen Sypula
(England), Mike Korengel and I (US) delivered them to the children in
I ended up writing a book about
my journey. It includes the
chronicles of my time at centers
for survivors—the shelters in
Dawn’s Place in PA.
My goal: to inspire other people
to lend a hand, too.
At 16, Jaya* was abducted from her very poor
village in India when her father left to look for
work. She was locked in a room for two days.
She escaped before being delivered to a
She recovered and received an education
at Punarnawa Ashram (“New Beginnings”
center) for girls rescued from sex slavery.
This is where Rotarians provided cows, a
bio-gas system and sewing machines.
Jaya became the first female tailor in her region. By 17, she was a
thriving entrepreneur helping raise the education and income level
of her whole village. Her information led to the rescue of another
girl; the two testified against their trafficker and he is now behind
bars. She and I met in Nov. 2011.
3. Learn more.
Facing the Monster has information to help you understand this
issue (in short, story form) and 18 solutions to help end modern
slavery. Royalties help survivor projects.
We can tackle this together!
Thanks for listening, helping and
facing the monster together.
Cover image: Girl crying,
painted by survivors of child