Rotary International District 1240
Home | Stop People Trafficking | Mercy Trucks and Trafficking
During PDG Sandra Allen's Year we were introduced to Mercy Trucks by Roy Dixon at Sandra's Conference. The following rather long but interesting email was forwarded to me by Terry Dean. It picks up on the trafficking of children and what happens to some of them. Sandra is thinking we might be able to help their appeal. If you think you can I am sure she would love to hear from you. But read on.
I hope you donít mind me sending this but itís just to keep you updated on the project to drive the 4 ambulances from Georgia down to support projects in Guatemala and Costa Rica. It would be good if you could circulate this to anyone who you think might be able to help. I also wanted to give you a quick update as to where we are at with other projects. Things have been as busy as usual this year. In February we drove another medical/dental trailer unit from the UK up to the Ukraine. Stepan and Oksana, who run Mercy Trucks Ukraine are doing amazing work; many more children in orphanages are now being helped.
We have completed the work in Senegal on the large trailer we drove down from England loaded with medical and educational equipment. We converted the trailer into a medical & dental unit and it is now being managed by a wonderful couple who came to volunteer with their family from Brazil. This Mercy Truck unit is now supporting a project to the south of Dakar that helps the Talibe boys who have been illegally trafficked, from Guinea Bissau, then kept in horrendous conditions until they become emaciated and put on the streets to beg for their masters. Itís distressing to see the whip marks on some of these boys. Often, if they don't bring back at least one Dollar each day for their Marabou masters, they get badly beaten. I recently saw the results after some severe beatings, because a number of boys had tried to escape. Many of the Marabou now have hundreds of boys working for them, it's big business and because no one is able to stop them, it's rapidly expanding.
While writing this, I am now in Guinea Bissau. We have to work quickly to finish this next Mercy Truck mobile medical/dental clinic here as a team of 10 dentists (volunteers) are coming from Costa Rica. After Guinea Bissau, we have to go down to Sierra Leone and do some work on the three Mercy Trucks there plus we are hoping to start working on setting up the New Life project to help some of the child prostitutes in Sierra Leone (but up to now, we don't have the funds for this)
For the first two weeks of October it's back up to Senegal where we are making a TV documentary. This is to try and alert the rest of the world of this massive scale modern day atrocity that is happening with these young Talibe boys. We are working to give these kids a voice so that their cries can be heard. It is our hope that through this TV documentary, we can educate people about this and gain support to put pressure on the European Parliament. At the moment, it seems that the only politically correct thing to do is to close our ears and turn a blind eye to this awkward issue saying that it is the Islamic religion to allow this and part of their culture. However, in reality itís nothing more than modern day, large-scale child trafficking, child abuse and child slavery.
It is our hope that as a result of the documentary we are making, pressure would be put on the European Parliament to start attaching more conditions to the large-scale development funding that is given to Senegal from European taxpayers and so force them to start addressing their human rights issues. At the moment these Marabou are dangerous and have the upper hand, itís like fighting the mafia. This Evil is allowed to happen because good men are standing back and doing nothing. One of the main problems is that most Europeans are unaware of what is happening here and the locals are too scared to get involved because of the voodoo that many of these Marabou put over anyone who speaks out against them.
After filming the documentary in Senegal in the first half of October, itís then back up to the UK to finalize preparations and then on to the US for the first week of November to take the 4 ambulances from Georgia down to assist new projects in Costa Rica and Guatemala. A big thank you must go to Jeff Colker who helped to get these ambulances for Mercy Trucks. Jeff also secured the last Ambulance we drove down to Haiti after the Earthquake.
We will need a week to get these latest ones serviced, tested, licensed and insured. We are asking for help in raising £1,000 or $1,600 per ambulance to get them serviced and legalized. Then in the second week the team of drivers will arrive. (We still need 3 more drivers, please ask anyone you know to ďCome With Us On The Adventure Of Life, That Changes The Lives Of OthersĒ :-) Another problem is that we also need to raise the fund for the fuel, border crossings etc. We are asking each driver to contribute £600 or $1,000, and with 2 drivers per ambulance that should hopefully be enough to get them down to start the new projects in Guatemala and Costa Rica.
If any money is remaining it will be used towards the conversion of the mobile dental clinics. It should take 7 to 10 days to Costa Rica as we have to collect some medical equipment on the way as we go down across America. And we might have some equipment and supplies to deliver to other Central American countries on the way through.
I am not much good at fund raising plus I am challenged in finding the time as we are flat out here in Africa. Please prayerfully consider partnering with us on this financially or volunteering to drive, so we can get the ambulances up and out of Georgia and on the way by the end of the second week of November. Below is a copy of emails from the people on the projects who will be receiving the ambulances; they will be able to do amazing work meeting the needs of people in some of the poorest areas, if we are able to get these ambulances to them.
The following is from Tim Spurrier who is runs Shalom Hospital and is doing some great projects in Guatemala, he writes;
Hi Roy, Yes we need two ambulances for use at Hospital Shalom. One will be used here at the hospital and the other will be stationed at the local airport where we are planning to start an air ambulance service to 49 rural communities of the Peten jungle in January 2012. The president of Mission Air Group is coming in this weekend to finalize some of the plans with the director of the airport. This project has been in the works for more than two years and the last piece of the puzzle is an ambulance. The Cessna 206 aircraft will have all the jungle modifications finished by December and we plan to have it and the pilot here and working in January. By opening up these 49 extremely remote communities with emergency air services we believe we can also open the door and show these people that we care. We are transforming an old school bus into a mobile medical clinic so we can visit some of the more accessible but still medically under serviced areas. As you mentioned importing vehicles is costly but the government here will absolve taxes for the ambulance stationed at the airport. In the very near future we will also be needing a mobile dental clinic but again, funding would be needed for that. We look forward to your visit here when the vehicles arrive, you are most welcome and we would do our best to see that you are taken care of (in a Mission Field, Third World kinda way). Thank you for the great work you are doing. God Bless you. Tim Spurrier
This is from our friend Ana DomŪnguez who is doing wonderful work on setting up projects in Guatemala, for preventing and reducing the youth violence. She writes;
Hi Roy, I will go in Guatemala for 2 month during July - September. I would like this time to sign the agreement with the government for developing the youth intervention plan. The ambulance will be so useful...!!! We are also hoping to do a health awareness campaign for young people (unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, vaccination etc...), and also for the marginal areas and rural communities who have no health assistance. There are 4 other organizations that also need one of the ambulance and another who need a mobile dental clinic, so it will be very busy when it arrives. Have a safe journey
This is from Giacomo Coghi who is director of YWAM (Youth With A Mission) in Costa Rica;
At this point we are fundraising for the importation tax/duty on the ambulance. Sadly, in the past year we had had to turn down more teams that wanted to come and do dental care but couldnít due to the lack of a mobile dental unit. We really need this as soon as possible. Giacomo
There are many wonderful missionaries and volunteers sacrificing their home comforts to get up, go out and work hard to help some of the less fortunate in these places, but sometimes they just donít have access to the resources and equipment they need. Part of our job at Mercy Trucks is to do what we can to help by linking some of the resources of Europe with needs in Eastern Europe, Asia and West Africa or as in the case above; the resources of America with the needs in Central and South America. I would really appreciate to hear from you if you have any ideas of how we can move forward with these projects. Please prayerfully consider partnering with us is in this.