Tales of a Local Trafficking Survivor: Theresa Flores

This event will feature local survivor Theresa Flores: a woman whoTheresa Flores was trafficked out of her own home at the age of 15. She wrote the book about her story: Slave Across the Street available in our store for purchase.


On Sslaveatseptember 12, from 3:30-5:00 PM, she will be signing books, sharing her story, and giving tips for trafficking awareness. This is a perfect event for mothers & daughters to attend, for anyone looking to hear a story of empowerment and wanting to increase their awareness of human trafficking as a LOCAL issue that needs advocates!

‘The Scarlet Cord’

Film Premiere

Grand Rapids, MI  September, 2015  Women At Risk, International will be hosting a  film premiere on Tuesday, September 15, at the Grand Rapids Public Museum from 6-8pm with ArtPrize artist, Pamela Alderman. The film, based on the exhibit “The Scarlet Cord” will premiere following a panel discussion around modern day human trafficking.  The cost of admission is $5.  Pre-registration is now closed, but tickets will be available a the door.

At ArtPrize 2014, Alderman displayed her piece, The Scarlet Cord through a partnership with WAR, Int’l, in hopes of raising awareness of human trafficking in the United States. Through that same partnership, community members will have the opportunity to learn about the face of human trafficking in West Michigan at this program on September 15.

This event will feature a panel that will include Pamela Alderman, WAR, Int’l president, Becky McDonald, author of “A Vulnerable World” and communication specialist at Acton Institute, Elise Hilton, Senator Judy Emmons, and Vanessa, a trafficking survivor. Each speaker will share about the injustices of modern-day slavery, and will follow with a Q&A session. After the panel session, the video will be premiered.

This video features the reactions of those who walked through Alderman’s art installation during the 2015 Super Bowl in Phoenix. Through this piece, Alderman met trafficking and sexual abuse survivors who also shared their reactions as they experienced her art. This touching film also features human trafficking statistics and information on the horrors many children in America face.

The event will conclude with volunteers tying the infamous scarlet cords on the wrists of those in attendance as an ever-present reminder of the pain those engulfed in human trafficking experience each and every day.

Please note that this program and film may include content that could be disturbing.

Get Involved

We are asking those who are passionate about ending human trafficking, or want to learn more about this injustice, to come to the Grand Rapids Public Museum at 6:00 p.m. on September 15, to learn how you can be apart of the solution. This will be a time to get questions answered, hear from professionals in the fight against modern-day slavery, hear first hand from a survivor and experience a first-look into Pamela Alderman’s newest video, The Scarlet Cord.

For more information, please contact:

Women At Risk, International
(616) 855-0796

About Women At Risk, International

WAR, Int’l is a non-profit organization that works in nearly 40 countries addressing 14 risk issues. The purpose of WAR, Int’l is to create circles of protection and hope around at-risk women and children through culturally sensitive, sustainable projects and partnerships. WAR, Int’l has a passion for giving a voice to the silenced cries of the oppressed while wrapping arms of love around them, and empowering them to live with hope and dignity.

 About The Scarlet Cord

 The Scarlet Cord is an award-winning art exhibit aimed at raising awareness of child sex trafficking. The unique art exhibit is housed in a 40-foot storage container that includes thirty weathered doors with portraits bound by a twisted scarlet cord. Arist Pamela Alderman’s motivation for creating The Scarlet Cord installation and video was to inspire healing for sex-trafficked children. To schedule an exhibit or video premiere, contact the artist at www.watercolorbypamela.com.

Scarlet Cord 1Scarlet Cord 3 ArtPrize-Pamela-AldermanHope for India - Sweetie

Micro-loans of Love

Empowerment, a basic need to be able to work with dignity, has often been unfulfilled for many of the women entering WAR, Int’l programs. These women need to know that they are a valuable part of their individual societies. Sometimes, all they require is an initial investment in their futures, and, through WAR Int’l, we are able to provide them with micro-loans to help them become self-sustaining businesswomen.

WAR Int’l has a deep desire to see women employed with dignity in safe environments and become financially stable. Micro-loans enhance that desire for us, which is why we believe so firmly in their effectiveness.

According to World Vision, it has been proven that women have the highest micro-loan repayment rate, and they also consistently invest the most of their earnings in their children and families. Many of the at-risk women we work with all over the world have no way to provide for themselves. But with a small micro-loan, they are given the finances they need to start a business. More importantly, these opportunities give them dignity. Micro-loans are not handouts – they are a hand up. WAR Int’l supports partnering micro-loan organizations all over the world to make sure that women have the opportunity to support their families while making an income.

What sets most of our partners apart is the fact that many times these micro-loans are also coupled with educational classes, business classes, and Bible classes. We’ll be honest; when it comes to choosing partners, we are picky. There are thousands of organizations giving micro-loans to those in need. However, we make sure life-change is happening, outside of the financial realm, for these women before we choose to partner.

Micro-loans have been the saving grace for many women and their families. Take Myra, for example. Myra was a salsa dance teacher in the Dominican Republic. Each morning, she left her three children at home so that she could teach dance. However, after learning that her oldest daughter had been raped by the apartment’s janitor, Myra knew that she had to create a circle of protection – first and foremost – around her three children. Through a micro-loan, Myra now runs a food stand selling empanadas. She is able to be with her children while making an income to support her family. She was even able to continue dancing by starting a salsa aerobics class at her local church!  If you would like to donate to WAR’s Micro Enterprise fund, click here.

Though micro-loans are extremely important, women in some countries benefit more from a single, one-time gift. At WAR, Int’l, we have a program called the Goat Project. Currently, the Goat Project works in three different countries: Sudan, Nepal, and Kenya. The goal of this program is to provide women who need a source of income with goats, because in many countries, if a widow does not have a goat, she has no means of supporting herself or her family. So, while WAR, Int’l is very passionate about micro-enterprise-goat-projectmicro-loans, we also understand the importance of meeting specific needs. Instead of a micro-loan, this program includes a goat-loan. The goat is loaned to an at-risk woman who will raise it and use its milk to feed her family. She can also sell this milk to make an income. All WAR Int’l asks is for the woman to return to them the first female kid the goat has. In doing this, we are able to provide a goat to another woman at risk, creating a self-sustaining cycle in vulnerable communities. Read more on our Goat Project program page.

When women are provided with the basic necessities to support themselves, we help them to create an environment of empowerment in their communities. According to World Vision, violence against women decreases where women are self-employed – and we have seen this first-hand.

Please pray for the success of the businesses that these women have created, that the micro-loan program will be able to expand through WAR, Int’l and that the Gospel will be spread in mighty ways. We’re not just giving financial investments and stability to these women, but we’re giving them the opportunity to invest in their eternities as well. We don’t take this lightly, and we hope you’ll pray with us and for us as we continue to give more women opportunities that once seemed so out of reach for them.