Everyone that is reading this has access to the internet. Everyone who has the internet knows firsthand there are endless sad stories, fundraisers, and causes. In our society you have to learn to shield yourself from the sadness of the media or Facebook, or you’d be a weeping mess all day long. Everyone picks a cause or two to believe in, to support, to spread, because you literally can’t pick them all.
Like the black lives matter or the homeless animal advocates, I also picked a cause, something that resonated inside me like a housefly so desperate to get beyond the screen in the kitchen, yet held back by invisible barriers. The human trafficking of the western block struck cords with me I could not ignore. What were all these barriers? How do I get past them? This answer I still search for. People tell me all the time I have a big heart, I’m such a good person. I often wonder, if that’s true, why good people struggle so hard, especially to help someone else. Altruism really is the type that bleed themselves dry. While young girls are being raped and murdered for organs this very moment.
My husband recently sent me a game, The Evolution of Trust. It is a thoughtful mathematical explanation of why our society has become so distrusting, and how we can fix it. Will we? I don’t know, we are seemingly more interested in “Share THIS is you have a beautiful daughter!” than any idea that requires cooperation to create change. This game taught me that being a ‘always cooperate’ makes you at risk for extinction.
Play the game Here
In the climate of distrust, there are climbing barriers for me as I provide a summer asylum for a girl who looks at her future of hopelessness, lacking resources, and supports. She looks at her 70% chance of being forced into prostitution or being tricked and murdered for her kidney, the kidney she’d likely give to you willingly. This is a girl I know well, she’s a person to my family and I, and it breaks my heart to know her likelihood of seeing her 21st birthday in 7 years will be 15%. This girl only has a 15% chance of making it to the age where she is legally allowed to drink alcohol. That’s best case. This girl that has been part of my family all summer, who shared her hopes, her dreams, her fears, and her strong drive to succeed, is going to be sent back on August 30th to uncertainty. She got a glimpse at what it is like to LIVE life, and now she returns to the darkness, with only one match stick of hope that some how I will raise a community from the dust, to find the funds to bring her to America forever. Her match stick is 19 months long. At 16 years old her 15% future become reality. She will have to figure out how to survive in a world she doesn’t even know and navigate the tricks of the professionals creeping around the corner to kidnap her and drag her into the statistics.
My mind races as I think about how in the world to navigate barriers to bring this girl to our family permanently. Until last night, she hadn’t asked, and I assumed she would be happy to go back to the orphanage while I buy time to figure out a game plan.
“In 30 days I must go home to the orphanage”.
“I know, I will miss you”.
“I will be glad to see my friends, but I do not like when they lock us in the sanitarium or deny us food. There is a plate there with bread filled with bugs when they lock us in. I am sad to leave America.”
“Maybe you will visit at Christmas?”
“I want to live in America forever with this family. I love it here, it is more than I ever dreamed. Now I have seen the dreams I never had, I love dance class and being proud. I want my future with you.”
This is a real girl. With real feelings, that is really looking at a grim future. If she had cancer, or needed some surgery I would have endless donations to fix her situation. Alina’s story is no less heart wrenching, but isn’t the cause most people identify with. Everyone can imagine how they would feel if their child fell ill, not many people hypothesize how to pull a girl from the circling sharks. I had this dream to give a girl hope, a chance at life, to show her what the world could be so she could be saved from human trafficking, and all her dreams and her actual percentage of survival depends on me raising about $30,000.00 in about 6 months. After the last four years of struggle of our own, I don’t even see any light in this cave, but every time I look into her eyes I can see her match stick burning the time away.
How do I send back a girl I have grown to adore? How do I send one of my children to certain death? How do I tell her I’m sorry the mountain is too high to climb, the fight is too hard, and I’m going to put the seal on her percentage?
I can’t. Because I’m a good person, I have a huge heart, like everyone says. I can’t send back a daughter to the future of 15%. I want to scream, I want to tell everyone I’ve ever met that I need help, if everyone challenged everyone they knew we’d have a chain of small donations that would lift this girl from hopelessness into success. If I had a viral post or video of the perfect song in the perfect timing that people shared I would shortly have the barriers fall away so she could find her way home. Instead I quietly whimper, and I plan, and I read, and I hope that somehow a miracle will appear and the answer will be clear on how to possibly raise a community to finance this girl’s survival.
This is a lesson in the evolution of trust. We will see if I can evolve out of always cooperate to make it to survival, or if I am going to die trying.
This story has two endings. One where the miracles of the community surround us and raise a girl from the dust, or the ending I most fear, she and I both die trying.
As I spend the last sweet moments with a girl that thrives, I watch her match stick burn and my panic increases facing my own mountains. I will watch her dance tonight, in the biggest opportunity that has ever been offered to any of my children, in a real production on a real stage, with a real company. She will dance for us the dance of hope and dreams, and desperation for the chance to dance on the stage of life.
Please help us lift up this girl. Please share our story. Please tell your friends to tell your friends to tell the media to do something positive to pull a girl from the grips of desperation. Please challenge your friends to donate, and organize, and help us fund-raise. We don’t want to make money, or scam, or be famous for doing a good deed. We want to save a girls life, and we need your help to do it.
We want to start moving to bring Alina home before her match burns out. Please, help us give her the hope of a future.
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