According to TheReshmaProject.org, “More than 18 million people, or 1.4 percent, of India’s population, live in [sex] slavery.” The Reshma project was founded in 2016 with one purpose: “To expose the darkness of sex trafficking, to empower the enslaved to escape bondage, and to enrich their life and self with dignity.”
The Reshma project was founded through an unexpected meeting one summer in 2016. A group from Youth With a Mission Asheville (YWAM)— a Christian global family of ministries— traveled to India to evangelize to the women in the red light district. The group never expected that a chance encounter would not only completely change one woman’s life, but also their lives, ultimately leading to the beginnings of a non-profit organization.
That woman’s name is Reshma meaning “silk” in Hindi. She is among countless other women who have been able to escape the sex trade through the sacrifice and work of the Reshma Project.
This serendipitous meeting of Reshma felt solidified for the group when they realized the meaning of her name. The group identified with her name so strongly as the future name for their non-profit organization because silk is considered a precious material. The fabric can only be dyed once, just as Christians believe that one encounter with Jesus— and being stained by his blood— is all a person needs to be marked His forever.
Upon meeting Reshma in the red light district, the group discovered she was only 19-years-old. They also made an even more important discovery: Reshma remained a sex slave because she couldn’t afford to escape. Think about that for a moment. Reshma had been trained as a tailor, but did not own a $200 sewing machine she would need to set up her own business and support herself financially.
According to the site, the group pulled together all of their monies to purchase Reshma’s much needed sewing machine, changing her life forever and setting the precedent for a new mission: to rescue other women from the sex trade and provide the resources to help them set up their own businesses or learn skills that would give them financial freedom.
The Reshma project is only 3-years-old and needs your help. Is one of your goals this year to participate in more philanthropic opportunities? Do you align with the mission of this non-profit organization, or are you curious to learn more about the sex trade, the stark truth of life for these women, and also the reality that these women did not choose this life for themselves? Studies have found that almost all of the women working in the sex trade were born into it, or tricked—and even coerced— into this life through greed and empty promises.
For more about the amazing work that these individuals do, check out their website at TheReshmaProject.org, and/or become a sponsor
to help a woman/women escape a life of slavery, and change her future for the better.