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Kids sold for $2 for sex: What would you pay to rescue them?

One of the rescued children who features in an International Justice Mission video.
One of the rescued children who features in an International Justice Mission video.

AS parents, it's impossible to comprehend how anyone would sell their child for as little as $2.

What is even more sickening is knowing that child will become a sexual playtoy for a twisted westerner who has no thought for the long term physical and psychological damage that he will inflict.

For Sunshine Coast woman Jennie Brown, it's a thought that keeps her awake at night.

"I rarely talk about it without becoming emotional or teary,'' the successful businesswoman says.

"We all know kids. Who is going to stand up for them if we don't?''

Around the world, in 2017, it is estimated there are more than 45 million slaves.

Many of them are bought and sold by international crime syndicates for the sexual pleasure of perverts, travelling to south-east Asia and other countries.

"Australian men are some of the worst perpetrators in the world when it comes to the child sex trade,'' Ms Brown says.

It's a massive problem - one that many of us would say is too difficult to solve.

But there are organisations, including Sunshine Coast-based Destiny Rescue, and the International Justice Mission, determined to rescue these children, one child at a time - and prosecute those responsible.

But it takes money to rescue and rehabilitate a child.

Across Australia, 100 communities have committed to the cause by doing something that every child and adult can enjoy together - play ping pong.

The 2017 Ping-Pong-a-Thon aims to raise $500,000 to help support seven different organisations tackling the sex slavery trade.

Nambour has been one of the top fundraisers each year, raising more than $32,000 last year.

Participants will play table tennis for a minimum of three hours and invite family and friends to sponsor their efforts.

Since its inception in 2011, the Ping Pong-A-Thon movement has raised close to $1 million.

To participate, sponsor or find out more, visit: www.pingpongathon.com.

To support Nambour's efforts you can donate here

Founder of 'The Pong', Adrian Rowse believes Australians are getting behind the cause because they believe in fighting for the underdog and fighting injustice.

'There are 45.8 million people who are slaves in the world today. That's twice the population of Australia who are being used daily like products off a supermarket shelf because they're circumstances make them vulnerable to the greed of others.

Adrian started The Pong after spending two years working in Thailand with teenage boys who were being exploited in the sex industry.

He believes in the ripple effect of the work being done.

"When we support a young person to exit exploitative circumstances via alternative educational or vocational opportunities, it's not just their life that is changed," he says. 

Jennie Brown is passionate about ending the child sex slave trade.
Jennie Brown is passionate about ending the child sex slave trade.

"These young people often courageously go on to change the lives of their families and make their wider communities more resilient in the process. 

"This protects future generations from being vulnerable to future exploitation." 

For Jennie Brown, who raised more than $12,000 during last year's event, one of the most important things about the fundraiser is generating awareness, particularly in Australia.

She's encouraged that many schools are now coming on board, with young men being encouraged to stand up for young girls, rather than exploit them.

Ben Grieger is a teacher from Loxton High School in South Australia.  He ran The Pong in his school in 2015-16, inspiring them to a schools fundraising record of $10,124 in 2016. 

"As a teacher, I love helping young people be the best they can be and it breaks my heart that there are young people in our world living lives of captivity, deprivation and exploitation.

"Other than the abusive circumstances these children are facing, they are just like the students I teach". 

The Pong doesn't just change lives overseas; it changes the hearts, minds and attitudes of participants. 

"They become ambassadors and champions for this cause and will grow up to be men and women of conviction who will go on to teach their children to value all people and to help those in need rather than exploiting them."

Schools like Loxton High are using the event to reinforce core values of respect and dignity, particularly towards young women.

Ping pong action in Nambour.
Ping pong action in Nambour.

The 2017 event in Nambour is being held at FlameTree Baptist Church, Cnr Coes Creek & Erbacher Roads, Nambour, on Friday October 27, from 6pm to midnight.

To participate, sponsor or find out more, visit: www.pingpongathon.com.

To support Nambour's efforts you can donate here

Topics:  destiny rescue fundraiser international justice mission nambour ping pong predators sex slavery sex trade sunshine coast


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