Today’s Theme: Amazing Women doing Good in the World
It took Karen Doerflein and me over an hour to figure out our mutual acquaintances when we met back in December at a Starbucks in Kierland. That’s unheard of, for two women, in Scottsdale. What kept me speechless with tears streaming down my face for over an hour was Karen’s work, or more specifically who she worked for.
I listened as Karen talked over video of her rescuing countless boys in Africa who were sold into slavery, some as young as age three. She on one boat, floating up to the slave master with a young boy in tow, would negotiate his freedom, transfer the young boy to her boat and float him to safety with the ease any of us would go pick up milk at the corner store.
This clearly is dangerous, as you can tell by the horrific abuse these young boys suffer to keep them in line and working the fishing boats. Beatings, malnutrition, no education, working from the moment they get up before dawn and long until after the sun goes down daily.
I’ve admittedly mentioned that I haven’t always been the most self-aware, but I was shocked that I had no idea this was going on in Africa. Karen is married with three young children of her own. I asked, while I watched her in a video shooting video from her iphone during a rescue, if she worried for her safety. She responded, ‘If it’s my time to go, it’s my time to go.’
Karen is in Africa right now and sent video and the picture of one of her many rescues this trip. Her group takes with them one huge shipping container each trip to help support the boys after the rescue. If you are at all as moved as I was and want to help there are plenty of ways. Outside of cash donations to the foundation they are looking for medical supplies, clothing, shoes, books, or you can visit their page directly to learn more about the organization.
We did another rescue mission in Africa and this boy that you see we found on one of the islands that is in the middle of Lake Volta. I was playing ball with the kids and stopped to treat the visible wounds and infections on the children that I saw when some of the children lifted up the back of Michael’s shirt so I could see his back.Based on the severe marks on him and numerous wounds we know he was tied to a tree and whipped multiple times, it also looks like rocks are thrown at him and that he has wounds I cannot even begin to describe.Any thoughts and help on this would be huge. Once these kids are sold into slavery (at 3 or 4 years of age) and are taken to these islands in the middle of Lake Volta they are basically “forgotten” and slavery is all that they know.We are going to do a full container but I also want to bring awareness to this issue as quickly as possible. An estimated 7,000 children are enslaved on Lake Volta alone.