Abundance Sunday Helps Refugees from World Relief

MIPC's Abundance Sunday clothing donations in 2011 have resulted in $3,370 of Goodwill vouchers for World Relief clients to use to purchase clothing and other basic needs at Goodwill. Thanks to all who have brought clothing on the first day of each month.

And prayers, too for Cal Uomoto, Executive Director of World Relief, and his family as Cal enters hospice care as no further medical treatment is available to reverse the course of his illness.

Good News About our Scholarship Students in Cambodia

We have learned that this year eight of our scholarship students will be attending the university. These young women have been part of our scholarship program. They are poor students who would not have this opportunity without our financial help. They are part of PROJECT HALO, a program for children and young people who are orphans and live in the poorer areas of Phnom Penh.

A big thank you to all our sponsors and for the program that gives poor children a chance for a better life for them and their families.

This is much to celebrate!

Small Village Overcomes Stigma of Women Who Have Been Trafficked

In Hop Tien Village in northern Vietnam, one village has overcome the stigma and power of trafficking. Predators had come to this village to recruit women and children as young as 5 or 6 to be sold over the border to China which was only 4 miles away.

Even after some victims had been rescued, the women who returned were disowned. Some built makeshift tents tucked high in the mountains, a long way from town, because they were not welcome in their village any longer.

But a woman named Vang Thi Mai took in some of these women and changed their lives and eventually their whole village. She employed them in a small textile cooperative run by her and her husband. She taught them to separate hemp stems into strands, spin, weave and dye fabrics. At first she was ostracized by the village for reaching out to the women, but gradually attitudes began to change.

Today the co-op is over 110 women strong. The women’s work has increased household’s incomes fourfold. Because of this, Mrs. Mai has been visited by Vietnamese President Tran Duc Luong and has represented her culture (Hmong) at an international craft fair in Paris where NGO’s Oxfam and Caritas became involved with her co-op.

Although it has been hard to change the opinions of some of the older villagers, the younger ones no longer ostracize the once trafficked women and support Mrs. Mai in her work. Her village is better off than many others in her province thanks to the work of the victims of trafficking and Mrs. Mai’s vision.

-excerpted from NY Times article by Julie Cohn, 8-17-11,

Sengalese Village Wipes Out Malaria Thanks To a Determined Dad

El Hadj’s daughter, 11, was just about to start school in her village in Senegal when she contracted malaria and eventually died. Malaria claims a life every 45 seconds.

But El Hadj vowed that malaria would never kill again in his village. He worked with a group of local women to protect the village. They cleaned the village and surrounding area of trash and removed standing water. In addition they gave new mothers and their babies mosquito nets. They taught the mothers how to use the nets, tucking in all the corners so no mosquitoes could bite them.

Next El Hadj recruited the village chief to go door to door to ensure every family used their nets nightly. They were fined 50 cents if they weren’t using the nets and the money went into a pot to pay for emergency transportation if there were emergencies.

Results? Amazing! The village has gone from 3,500 malaria cases a year to nearly none. Now they are going from village to village to implement the same program. Because of their effort, nearly 50,000 people are protected from malaria.

El Hadj has turned tragedy into triumph.

(Information from Fast Company.com, David Arquette)

Rescue News from IJM Bangalore

After a week of persistent advocacy from IJM Bangalore, government officials responded to the evidence documenting a cruel slave owner and rescued 24 children, women and men from an abusive brick kiln.

The night before the laborers were freed, the owner and his friend threatened to lock the laborers in a shed and burn it to the ground. The families were not unused to verbal threats and physical abuse. In the past, several laborers had tried to run away from the harsh conditions, but they were tracked down and beaten in front of the others, an example of the punishment that awaited other subordinates who might try to escape.

Today, these families no longer live in fear - instead, they are safe in their home village, where IJM has helped them resettle.

Eastside Domestic Violence Statistics 2011

In case you are wondering...

•10,069 Calls responded to on the 24-Hour Crisis Line
•4,700 Victims of domestic violence served
•42,361 Nights of safe shelter provided
•35,394 Individuals educated about domestic violence
•16,122 Hours of assistance provided by 538 volunteers
•109,386 Victims served since 1982

Eastside Domestic Violence Program (EDVP)
24-Hour Crisis Line (425)562-8840

Meeting for Initiative Against Sex Trafficking at UPC

Lisa L. Thompson, headlines this special Christian abolition event on July 28th at University Presbyterian Church. Lisa is the Liaison for the Salvation Army's Initiative Against Sex Trafficking (IAST)

Date: July 28, 2011

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: University Presbyterian Church
Calvin Lounge
4540 15th Ave., Seattle 98105

Cost: Free ($5 donation suggestion at door)

Co-Sponsor: University Presbyterian Church Human Trafficking Task Force

Organizer: Hope for Seattle

MI Food Bank Needs Food!

MI Youth and Family Services is in desperate need of food for the Food Bank. They need all kinds of food.

Now that school is out families have greater need for food since children are no longer getting meals at school.

Please bring food to either wicker basket located in front of the office and in front of the Community Life Center (gym) and we will deliver it to the MI Food Bank.


Good News From Youthcare

A message from Melinda Giovengo, Executive Director of Youthcare, one of MIPC’s Mission Partners:

On Thursday night I had the privilege of attending the Seattle Public Schools Interagency Academy Graduation.( our in house school at Orion, YouthBuild and the Bridge)

YouthCare had a total of 16 graduates this represented almost 25 % of all the graduates this year from interagency. Our young people beamed and were so proud as they paraded in cap and gown. They were cheered by 20 YC staff members who attended. If ever there was a moment to know we are on the right path THIS WAS IT. One young woman who had been on the run from the Bridge returned to most of the staff celebrating her success. She said she left but “could not go back out there on the streets, she was different now.”.. she is in foster care and calls us EVERY DAY.

Good News About Asa Mercer Middle School

Principal Andhra Lutz has taken a new job in Washington D.C. as the instructional leader of a whole group of high poverty schools. To meet this challenge, she brings with her the story of the successful transformation of Asa Mercer Middle School. In the five years she has been at Mercer it has become a high achieving, high poverty school.

Some of MIPC’s tutors met with Susan Toth, former Associate Principal and new Asa Mercer Principal on June 7 to hear an update on Mercer’s year and plans for the future. Susan has had a chance to work with Andhra for the last 5 years and has been part of most decisions about the school. She will carry on the work that has transformed Asa Mercer’s identity.

At our meeting she told us that the free and reduced lunch program is used by 78% of the school’s population. They now qualify as a Title 1 school which means they have federal funding to help support their students.

Regardless of the high poverty rate, an example of the continued academic achievement is that five years ago, Mercer’s science test scores were at 18% and now they are at 70%...higher than other more affluent middle schools. The one word that Susan repeated several times about their commitment to academic achievement was “relentless.” Nothing will deter them from working for students’ academic achievement.

Our tutors have been privileged to see the transformation at Mercer over the eleven years that we have been there. As many of the tutors have said, “It’s a great place to be.” They speak of the talented and committed staff and the respectful and hard working students.

If you’d like more information about joining the MIPC tutor team, please contact Linda Fetters, lfetters@aol.com.

She’s 10 and May Be Sold to a Brothel


M. is an ebullient girl, age 10, who ranks near the top of her fourth-grade class and dreams of being a doctor. Yet she, like all of India, is at a turning point, and it looks as if her family may instead sell her to a brothel.

Her mother is a prostitute here in Kolkata, the city better known to the world as Calcutta. Ruchira Gupta, who runs an organization called Apne Aap that fights human trafficking, estimates that 90 percent of the daughters of Indian prostitutes end up in the sex trade as well. And M. has the extra burden that she belongs to a subcaste whose girls are often expected to become prostitutes.

M. seemed poised to escape this fate with the help of one of my heroes, Urmi Basu, a social worker who in 2000 started the New Light shelter program for prostitutes and their children.

M., with her winning personality and keen mind, began to bloom with the help of New Light. Both her parents are illiterate, but she learned English and earned excellent grades in an English-language school for middle-class children outside the red-light district. I’m concealing her identity to protect her from gibes from schoolmates.

Unfortunately, brains and personality aren’t always enough, and India is the center of the 21st-century slave trade. This country almost certainly has the largest number of human-trafficking victims in the world today.

To read more of this article, please go to the Opinion Section of the NY Times for June 2. The New Light Center was the recipient of MIPC's Gifts of the Heart Offering in partnership with Herzl ner Tamid.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner to Visit MIPC’s Christian Education class on June 12

Tun Channareth, 1997 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Cambodian advocate for a ban on landmines, will be teaching and telling A Story From the Heart in the Pressing Issues class at MIPC on June 12 at 9:15 AM. All are invited to attend.

Channareth (Reth) was born in Cambodia and was forced to leave Phnom Penh with his family in 1975. Much of his family was killed by Pol Pot’s soldiers and Reth had to flee Cambodia during the invasion of the Vietnamese in 1979. As a member of the resistance army, Reth was maimed by an anti-personnel landmine in 1982 and lost both legs. After eleven years in refugee camps, Reth returned to Cambodia.

Reth is an ambassador for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) and has travelled the world urging governments to ban landmines. He also works with the Jesuit Service of Cambodia to make affordable wheelchairs for landmine survivors.

Send A Poor Child to School

May is International Student Scholarship Month at MIPC. It’s a time to renew our commitment to send poor children to school and have another chance to sponsor a child in Cambodia, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, or Vietnam. Hundreds of poor children have had a chance to go to school through our scholarships and some have even graduated from the university. Our in-country administrators are trusted friends who not only choose and support our sponsored children but also give additional support when a family is in crisis. We are blessed to have found such strong partners who care so deeply for our children and their families. If you are interested in learning more about ISSF (International Student Scholarship Fund)please contact Glo Ceteznik, Mission Director, at gloc@mipc.org.

Going Beyond Good Intentions Regarding Trafficking

HOW TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE/From Presbyterians Today

Three key practices

1. Learn. We know more about human trafficking now than we did 10 years ago. Explore the real outcomes of efforts to help trafficked persons and consult the latest information.

2. Don’t go it alone. Develop and coordinate your efforts to assist trafficked persons with experienced social service, legal and government entities.

3.Keep trafficked persons in the decision-making seat. Explain the options available and do not coerce them into help they don’t want. Do not allow your desire to protect trafficked persons to override their ability to make choices about their own lives and situations.