By: Monique Dennis Illustration By: Jarred Schuetze
Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” After sitting down with Minta Moore, founder and executive director of New Life Refuge Ministries (NLRM), I was educated on how close to home sex trafficking is and what we, as Coastal Bend citizens, can to do in order to help fight the human sex trafficking crisis. With January being National Human Trafficking Prevention & Awareness month, Moore caught us up on what New Life Refuge Ministries has been up to over the last couple of years, and what it has in the works.
Through refuge, awareness, and partnerships, New Life Refuge Ministries is committed to eradicating all commercial sexual exploitation of children and young adults. The organization was selected as the Charity League grant recipient for the 2021-2022 fundraising season. Moore says the Charity League grant will fund its transitional living program—which will serve as a foundational stage for young adults, aged 18-21, to be able to obtain a driver’s license, get a job, and start college, with the hope to help launch them into a successful adulthood.
Stepping into this new year, NLRM is also looking forward to continuing its collaboration with the Harbor Playhouse to incorporate a drama therapy program and implement art and music therapy. This was unfortunately put on hold after the pandemic swept the nation in 2020. Meanwhile, the organization has been working on campus development and has a second home being built on the property, which will help double the number of children and young adults it will be able to serve on its campus.
Their organization is also working to continue providing education and training on the issue. With everyone tying to get back to “normal” after the pandemic, Moore is determined to seize the opportunity to resume in-person training and educating the people in the community. “We truly believe if we can educate people on this issue, how it happens, and what it looks like; it’s the first line of defense for those that traffickers are looking to lure in,” she said.
This issue is important because it can happen to anyone. Moore says if she could accomplish one goal right now, it would be to have a child sex trafficking education program in every school in every district. We can all help this organization not only by donations, and volunteering, but by speaking up about the issue and having these uncomfortable, yet extremely important conversations with our children, friends, and family.
361.946.6331 | newliferefugeministries.org