COVID-19 Crisis Response
Lighthouse Voyage exists to be a beacon of hope for sex-trafficked women and children in India. A pandemic threat like the COVID-19 crisis affects every population without prejudice, and we stand to speak for those whose voices cannot be heard through the global outcry in this season. By providing shelter, care, and rehabilitation to those individuals who are neglected and abused by their own communities, we provide healing and hope in a part of the world not characterized by widespread access to healthcare or social programs in the ways that North America is blessed to be.
Our ministry stands in an unexpected position during this time. We have seen demand for victims of the sex-trade industry drop and brothels shut down as India’s population grapples with quarantine measures on an unprecedented scale. The lack of economic activity has been, for many, the opportunity they needed to leave the criminal organizations they worked in, but they continue to face the stark reality of an economy in upheaval in a society where routine class division deprives many of hope, opportunity, and dignity.
While the exit of huge numbers of traffickers and madams from the industry is a cause to celebrate, we have also seen the cascading effects of income loss cause women and children to be evicted from their rental homes in a time when suspicion runs high and communities close their doors. These individuals, already marginalized by their communities, run the risk of hunger on the streets, incarceration, and abuse at the hands of a legal system enforcing indiscriminate quarantine, or a return to the sex-trafficking industry should they make it through the lockdown.
As we work towards the completion of a new shelter facility, we are faced with a shortage of readily available space. Most of our own facilities are already at capacity, and we can’t take on additional individuals without sacrificing the safety of those in our care and those who offer their services in running these shelters.
We must turn, then, to an opportunity unique to our situation: a church building on our property, not staffed or supplied for our rehabilitation programs, but otherwise ready to take in new residents! We can expect to add several expenses in order to quickly prepare it as a shelter.
Running power to the building; providing food and medicine; and purchasing beds, blankets, and supplies to meet increased hygiene demands and standards during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic are all outside of the constraints of our regular budget. Our own new facility, currently under construction, will not have a roof over its foundation until June, but it, too, can be quickly fitted to take in temporary residents while the COVID-19 lockdown is in place.
Thank You For Your Prayers & Support
On Giving Tuesday, you have the opportunity to provide a home for someone whose freedom has cost them everything else. In a time when we all strive to shelter in place, the most exposed among an already at-risk population need a safe place to weather this storm. Help us provide housing and care for an individual made even more vulnerable by the global COVID-19 crisis. Your donation is a hand extended in love.