From Alabama to Ethiopia: Supplying Safety from the Sex Trade

Posted on June 28, 2012, by Lizzie Presser, Half the Sky Movement

For 11th graders Anna Cate and Caroline, it all began to click in September 2011. A few weeks after they had started a book club on Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, the two friends received an upsetting phone call. The Alabama girls had been sponsoring the education of Eyerus and Selamawet in Adama, Ethiopia, for five years through the organization Hope Ranch in Montana. Just as they were reading about gender-based violence and sex trafficking in Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book, they learned that their girls in Ethiopia had narrowly escaped the grip of a scheming trafficker. It began to dawn on them that the orphaned girls they had exchanged letters and photos with over the years were far more vulnerable than they had once thought.

Watch Anna Cate and Caroline describe how Half the Sky motivated them to create 100 for Adama 

With more research and much discussion, the girls decided it was time to take action, and no small action at that. First, they thought they would simply pay extra to keep their Adama friends in a safe house, but as they read about the ubiquity of the sex trade in Ethiopia, their ambitions grew. Now, they’re trying to raise $300,000 to fund a safe house for the 200 orphans that the Hope Ranch sponsors alongside the organization Look Development on the ground. With a modest video, website, and small fundraising efforts, they’ve raised $30,000 for their project 100 for Adama so far. “We decided there had to be a better way to protect these kids from sex slavery so this wouldn’t happen to any more of the sponsored kids,” said Anna Cate, who plans to travel to Adama soon to put a down payment on a house. “All we had to do was just say yes to wanting to do something more and all this has developed. Our simple project of raising $100 a month has grown to raising $300,000 dollars, and it seems so crazy but I think we can do it.” 

To help Anna Cate and Caroline reach their goal, donations can be made at 100 for Adama.