Ex-congress women works for sex slaves

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Subject: Ex-congress women works for sex slaves
From: Tanya Foundation (Tanya@tesco.net)
Date: Wed Jan 20 1999 - 19:01:43 EST


 
             

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            Smith enthusiastic about her new calling _ ministry to sex slaves
            
            
            
            The Associated Press
            01/20/99 7:42 AM Eastern

            LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) -- Mrs. Smith may not have made it to Washington this time, but she has found a new calling she says is even more gratifying.

            Former Congresswoman Linda Smith on Tuesday told the Cowlitz County Republican Women's Club of her mission to rescue child sex slaves in India after having her eyes opened during a visit to the country in December.

            For the next two years, Smith said, she'll help advance the cause of Shared Hope International, an evangelical ministry seeking freedom and salvation for young girls who have been sold into prostitution in Bombay.

            "What I saw were little girls bought and sold because they were low caste," Smith told her audience. "It's a pretty ugly thing that has a basis in culture because of devaluation of women."

            And it's "pretty gratifying" to give some of the world's most oppressed young women hope for a new life, she said.

            It's exciting "serving these little girls -- each day waking up and knowing I'm making a difference in somebody's life," Smith said.

            The 48-year-old Republican from Hazel Dell suffered a crushing defeat at the ballots last November, losing the U.S. Senate race to Democratic incumbent Patty Murray.

            This is Smith's first break from politics since 1983.

            "I'm not excited about being in politics," she said after her speech Tuesday. "I'm not saying, `Oh, I have to have another position.' ... I love campaigning. I love politics. And yet I love a lot of other things more."

            During her trip to Bombay, she spent a night with missionaries in the city's red-light district. In a van, she toured alleys lined with girls, most of them 10 to 14 years old, living in cages. About half of them are HIV positive or have AIDS, Smith said.

            According to a videotape on the project, slave traffickers bring in between 5,000 and 7,000 girls a year from remote villages in Nepal. A child may be bought by a broker for as little as 200 rupees, or $4, and resold to brothel owners for 500 to 1,500 rupees.

            This purchase price, plus interest, then becomes a debt that the girls must work to pay off, the videotape says. Many die early deaths, leaving behind their own children to grow up in the streets.

            About a year ago, Smith and her husband, Vern, began contributing to a fund that pays off the girls' debts and buys them out of prostitution.

            Smith is now working to establish a "Home of Hope" near Bombay for Nepalese girls leaving the brothels and have nowhere else to go.

            

            Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We welcome your feedback.
            1999 Oregon Live LLC

            Copyright 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
            This material may not be published, broadcast,
            rewritten, or redistributed.

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Smith enthusiastic about her new calling _ ministry to sex slaves

The Associated Press
01/20/99 7:42 AM Eastern

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) -- Mrs. Smith may not have made it to Washington this time, but she has found a new calling she says is even more gratifying.

Former Congresswoman Linda Smith on Tuesday told the Cowlitz County Republican Women's Club of her mission to rescue child sex slaves in India after having her eyes opened during a visit to the country in December.

For the next two years, Smith said, she'll help advance the cause of Shared Hope International, an evangelical ministry seeking freedom and salvation for young girls who have been sold into prostitution in Bombay.

"What I saw were little girls bought and sold because they were low caste," Smith told her audience. "It's a pretty ugly thing that has a basis in culture because of devaluation of women."

And it's "pretty gratifying" to give some of the world's most oppressed young women hope for a new life, she said.

It's exciting "serving these little girls -- each day waking up and knowing I'm making a difference in somebody's life," Smith said.

The 48-year-old Republican from Hazel Dell suffered a crushing defeat at the ballots last November, losing the U.S. Senate race to Democratic incumbent Patty Murray.

This is Smith's first break from politics since 1983.

"I'm not excited about being in politics," she said after her speech Tuesday. "I'm not saying, `Oh, I have to have another position.' ... I love campaigning. I love politics. And yet I love a lot of other things more."

During her trip to Bombay, she spent a night with missionaries in the city's red-light district. In a van, she toured alleys lined with girls, most of them 10 to 14 years old, living in cages. About half of them are HIV positive or have AIDS, Smith said.

According to a videotape on the project, slave traffickers bring in between 5,000 and 7,000 girls a year from remote villages in Nepal. A child may be bought by a broker for as little as 200 rupees, or $4, and resold to brothel owners for 500 to 1,500 rupees.

This purchase price, plus interest, then becomes a debt that the girls must work to pay off, the videotape says. Many die early deaths, leaving behind their own children to grow up in the streets.

About a year ago, Smith and her husband, Vern, began contributing to a fund that pays off the girls' debts and buys them out of prostitution.

Smith is now working to establish a "Home of Hope" near Bombay for Nepalese girls leaving the brothels and have nowhere else to go.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We welcome your feedback.

©1999 Oregon Live LLC

Copyright 1999 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast,
rewritten, or redistributed.









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