STOP Director speaks at Human Trafficking Week Pretoria, October 6 2013

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“Dear ladies and gentlemen, honoured guests.

Our Beloved South Africa, is a nation that God our Father has blessed with one of the greatest rescue acts of all time; the fact that we did not have a civil war leading up to independence in 1994. Countries like Cambodia were not so blessed and men came back – animals – raping 6 year-old children and throwing them into brothels.

Our Nation still has Christian values, family values, fathers who take ownership of their wives and children and of their nation. And now the Trafficking In Persons bill (TIP) is passed. Yes, well done government… Justice Portfolio Committee, well done! Parliament, well done! National Council of Provinces, well done! The NGO’s and people of South Africa, well done!

Many nations still do not have a TIP bill in place. The fines for trafficking human beings in South Africa were not nearly severe enough to stop traffickers in their crimes. And now, Wow! life imprisonment or a 100 Million Rand fine!! Beloved South Africans, this is the greatest crime against humanity. Our police and prosecutors are facing death threats daily and risking their lives for justice and the rescue and safe guarding of victims of Human trafficking. With the bill now passed we trust that many more arrests will be made and criminals prosecuted and sentenced . The legislation is complex and comprehensive and provides thoroughly for the rescue and protection of child and adult victims and the prosecution of traffickers.

The big challenge ahead for government now is the implementation and integration of this law into the different departments to make it effective on the ground. So DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, HOME AFFAIRS, NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY, HAWKS and all the other role-players, we as NGO’s and civil society support you and stand behind you and will give ourselves fully to assist you in this implementation.

The next/new/old challenge South Africa is facing , is the threat of having prostitution legalised in our country. The Mayor of Amsterdam was quoted saying:“While prostitution is legal in a nation, there is no way organised crime can be controlled and with that human trafficking. Prostitution is the cover blanket over crime and trafficking and it handcuffs police… can’t go into the brothels… it is legal!!”

South Africa by the grace of God did not legalise prostitution before Soccer World Cup 2010 – pressure was on from certain small groups. They tried, but you beloved South Africans sent so many submissions to the Law and Reform Commission, that they could only work through the data by 2011! Foreign football fans went home saying that this is a clean nation and that they would like to bring their families back for holidays. Germany sadly legalised prostitution before Soccer World Cup 2006 and they are now known as the biggest brothel in Europe ( Reuters Press).

South Africa will not become the biggest brothel in Africa, if you as South Africans stand up against this insanity… no little girl at the age of 5 skips around with butterfly wings saying she wants to be a prostitute one day and when a lady is on her back she has no guarantee that when she gets up from there ( if she does), that she will not be maimed, pregnant or have contracted AIDS. During a former African National Congress Women’s League Conference, it was stated that the women were shocked ( like when abortions were legalized), when the matter of decriminalization was discussed. The Xhosa language hasn’t even got a word describing prostitution in its vocabulary. So far removed is this from the traditions of our nation.

In closing, I would like to ask the Law and Reform Commission what happened to all the written submissions of the peoples of South Africa voting against decriminalization of prostitution in 2009? And, is this bill opening up again for the public to participate in before any further debate?

OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS ARE NOT FOR SALE . I THANK YOU.”

Director Corinne Sandenbergh addressing Human Trafficking Week at Freedom park, Pretoria

STOP visits Kenya

Dear Beloveds,

How does one describe in mere words the journey  God our heavenly Father and our Bridegroom  the Lord Jesus Christ accompanied by His Spirit, took us on into Kenya?
We went right through check in and customs  – at one stage 14 kg overweight ( all the material – yes thanks to Dawid, Carin and Almarie for the intense labour the last two days before lift off) From the word go we moved in the favour of God accompanied by Angels. Once in the plane with ” The life of Pi” on the screen above catching my eye every now and then, I got involved in a conversation with a gentleman who is the east African contracts and Finance manager for HRAA ( Hr – East ,
central and Southern Africa health community). Well needless to say as Pi was taming the tiger, human trafficking awareness was moving slowly but surely into many countries in the southern Hemisphere.WE presented him a kit and have since corresponded. As we arrived in Nairobi, the soft warm rains welcoming us, Bishop Simon Kamau  our handsome slim ( was expecting a short round bellied old man with a dog colour and crucifix around his neck) host was waiting  with a smile that reminds me of rising sun over Africa. Our two and half hour drive on horrendous roads up to the foot hills of Mt Kenya proved to be most enlightening. Sipping away at a carton of milk chewing macadamias which he issued us, Almarie and I sat back and with a little prod here and there heard the amazing history  of the life of Bishop Simon Kamau which has led up to where he stands known as the Moses of Africa and the founder of a huge ministry with many churches in Kenya and associates over Eastern Africa ( Christian Foundation Fellowship). Amongst other stories he related a most profound incident where he as a young preacher ( like Philip in the word) was transported  18 kilometres in 5 minutes one night after ministering in a village that far from his home. The following Sunday we would witness the same testimony before a crowd of 500 church members on the spot it actually happened in a remote village where we had a huge rally afterwards. The guard in front of whom he landed in his home village – white headed old man – was there to relate the incident.

501px-Flag-map_of_Kenya.svgOn our arrival in Bishops village the first evening, his precious wife and ” Mama Africa” ( Joan Bosman, missionary and evangelist) welcomed us and fed us with a hearty meal. Joan Bosman is an elderly lady from Queenstown Eastern Cape has been  preaching and evangelising in Africa for decades, moving with churches into the deepest bush and she  would be our keynote speaker at this All Africa Conference. She was the lady who invited Almarie ( and consequently me) to this conference as her guests ( she heard Almarie sharing on human trafficking in East London in December 2012).

WE were treated as queens and I  had this amazing sense of a  red carpet being rolled out for us where ever we went with an inner knowledge that we were the best men presenting the King of Kings. Our suitcases and handbags ( I’m sure if they could us too) were carried all over for us. Even our shoes were polished and clothes ironed ( you had to put outside your door at bedtime). The shoe polisher, after my last information session on what the different forms of human trafficking are, came and shared with me that he now actually realised what had  happened to him as young boy.. the story goes…. Orphaned after after his parents death, his uncle sold him to a farmer as little boy where he worked as a child slave for years. No education, money …barely food .. in rags. One night he decided to commit suicide and there the Lord appeared to him and spoke to him telling him that He was his Father and loved him and had plan for his life. He gave his life to Lord then and there. The following morning a local pastor came to him telling  him that the Lord had woken and told to take him into his house and be father to him. To day he is dignified clothes merchant, husband and father.. but o what humble servant of the most High God.

As Almarie and I presented and shared around Human trafficking, various people came to us.. some saying that God has been speaking to them for some time now ( tears flowing) about starting a safe House, others in government positions working with orphans want to get the material into the schools. Another lady high up in Dept of health and social services took the TIP bill to show to her colleagues working with trafficking. And so we could see and feel the fruit of our coming and was becoming evident as we went on and that our visit was God ordained.One thing Almarie mentioned when she was speaking, which really hit home in the hearts of the people was: she said: Should our safe Houses in SA harbour a Kenyan girl that was trafficked, we would want to have the liberty to phone Bishop Kamau  saying that after say three months we are sending  this girl home…would you please meet her at the airport and care for her. And this sort of net working should eventually take place throughout Africa.

A profound gentleman Rev Stephan Owino ( coordinator of the East African Christian Leadership network) became a good friend and networker ..( was also Almaries and my interpreter) He kept introducing us to strategic people in positions of influence and the word has gone out… Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda have asked us to come..He is also going to open doors all over Africa for student mission teams to come in and do the trafficking programs in schools and churches, but also bring hope and salvation to many young people. He is also the contact person to engage with NFN ( national freedom network)  I have already  given him some info (Sowinom@yahoo.com). Herkie ( my hubby) is involved with refresher courses in obstetrics emergency intervention ( esmoe ) . Dr. Samuel and his wife  – missionaries  and conference speakers from India, showed great interest in this course as their daughter is a doctor  ( gynae) in the north of India. Correspondence has already begun… India here we come. Jaques du Preez our doctor partner in NFN  – we plan to take you with us to India … there are 7 hospitals asking for awareness and identification training for trafficked victims!!! So please get the training manual and forms ready!!!

Have you ever had the privilege of sitting on your seat for 6 hours non stop? well we actually made it and enjoyed a lovely meal afterwards!!! The food in Kenya is delicious – locally grown rice and vegetables with meat.. tea from the local produce and much more… When bishop told us their part of the country is ever green, I wondered how this could be possible, until I hit the tropical highlands with gusts of tropical rain daily, much mud but ever ever green. The people live off and cultivate their own little bits of land.. not a hungry soul in rural Kenya. Our camp sight( police training campsite)was situated at the foot of Mt Kenya and every morning as we woke up we could just stand in awe and stare and stare and this snow capped wonder with virtually every river in Kenya having its origin from.

On Sunday morning we were all dispersed with interpreters to the village churches. After my sermon some one came up and told me her neighbours daughter had been trafficked. .. A pastor came and offered to take her to Saudi Arabia for a good job. After a tie she came back with a baby and totally mentally deranged. She had been used by the Muslim lady by day as a domestic slave being treated brutally and at night she had to be at the mercy of the house lord for his pleasure. We exchanged advice and ideas on how to minister to her and be of assistance.We suggested that they investigate the where abouts of the “pastor” that took her.

The revival meeting on Sunday afternoon where ” mama Africa” ministered to the 500, was one of the high lights of the week. Many precious people were saved , delivered and healed . It was like a re-enactment of the book of Acts.

Monday was re creation day and the contingent  – a lovely school bus full, pastors and guests left for the equator, the rift valley and the biggest waterfall in `Kenya. The local pastors of that region slaughtered a goat and prepared it for us at a nearby restaurant and what a happy celebration. Almarie was the choice favourite to be photographed with and found herself even being chosen by the bus driver to be photographed at the water fall. All the little children flocked around her comparing their dark skins to her lily white hands. And hugs and kisses were exchanged every where. The day ended with goodbye and thank you speeches exchanging of email addresses. By 2am the following morning we were all up ready to jump the buss to the airport. And with red knees ( from the seat backs in front)we arrived safely at 7 in the morning  at Nairobi airport accompanied by Bishop Kamau, his wife and all the pastors and elders of his church. The Word God gave gave me for them as we said goodbyes…

WELL DONE GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANTS .. YOU HAVE DONE WELL WITH WHAT I HAVE ENTRUSTED YOU WITH .. NOW I WILL GIVE YOU GREATER RESPONSIBILITY  AND SET SET YOU OVER MUCH MORE.

Kenya will probably remain in our hearts and minds as long as we live and Almarie and I thank and honour Bishop Kamau and our Kenyan hosts for their love and constant care for us , but also the opportunity they gave us to present human trafficking to the people and give them tools to combat this terrible crime.  We also thank STOP  for making this amazing opportunity possible. Thanks to Carin, Philip , Lilias , Truska, Teresa and Servaas who gave the thumbs up for us to go and for those of you who laboured to get all the resource material ready ( 50 packs).

THE DAUGHTERS AND CHILDREN OF AFRICA ARE NOT FOR SALE.  BY THE GRACE OF GOD SOUTH AFRICA IS GOING TO AID AFRICA IN GETTING THIS TERRIBLE ROUTE OF SLAVERY DOWN THROUGH AFRICA STOPPED FOREVER.

 

Blessings,

 

Corinnie Sandenbergh

STOP Director Continue reading