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Mount Kilimanjaro is about to meet with 47 faith-filled women determined to climb its challenging terrain–for a cause. The women are climbing to raise awareness and funds to combat oppression, slavery, exploitation and global trafficking.
Dubbed The Freedom Climb, the Operation Mobilization event symbolizes the challenging climb that marginalized women face while struggling to emerge from oppression.
According to Operation Mobilization’s research, there are about 27 million slaves in the world today trapped in various forms of bondage and abuse. Three out of four of those slaves are women. What’s more, 800,000 people will be sex-trafficked this year alone. Eighty percent of them will be female and 50 percent will be children.
Cathey Anderson, who teaches sustainable farming to African nationals in Malawi, had the vision to get a small group of friends to climb Kilimanjaro for the cause. Within a few months, that vision attracted 46 other women from all over the world–from 18 to 73 years old–committed to raising their voices and funds through their networks of friends and family.
“I talk to friends here in the States, and they say ‘What can we do with such a huge problem?’ I tell them ‘We can all make a difference for one woman and one child at a time! We can cry out on that woman’s behalf and try to meet her needs–and see freedom for her!”” says Anderson. “That will change not only her future but all the generations after her. We know we will not end slavery and human trafficking with this climb. We can, however, bring hope and an opportunity for freedom to women and children who currently have none.”