Sponsor A Girl At-Risk

We are launching a new opportunity for you to JOIN the FIGHT!

You can now sponsor a girl in our Transition Home, to protect her from being at-risk to Human Trafficking, and living on the streets of North Africa.

It is estimated that 40.3 million people are trapped in Human Trafficking today.
👶Of these millions of victims, 25 percent are children,
👩‍👩75 percent are female, and
🔨81 percent are trapped in some form of forced labor

According to Department of Defense Human Trafficking is the fastest growing crime. Sex-trafficking alone generates an estimated $99 million per year!

You can stop this horror for young girls!

 

With your help one girl can:

  • Have a Safe Place to Live and Grow!
  • Have food and learn to cook for herself and the home!
  • Finish her Education!
  • Receive weekly Counseling!
  • Have the mentorship of two devoted House Mom's!
  • Help finding a safe Job!
  • Help Transitioning safely and Independently into Society!
  • Gain genuine friendships!
  • Learn to live in a community of Trust!

JOIN the FIGHT

 


Transition Home 2019 Director's Report

Jan 2020 BFA Africa Director’s Report

 

Overview

In 2019 the girls’ transition home continued to be the primary project of BFA Africa.  We provided food, housing, education, and other practical helps for 10 girls/women over the course of the year as residents, and have helped in various ways at least 40 others.

In September we added to our staff, and now along with the Director we have two full time staff living in the house.  Our new house mom has been a wonderful addition to our household. Our primary focus in this season is to train the current staff and develop training materials for future staff.

Our partnership with a local women’s education association continues to be strong providing needed networking and resources for the girls’ education.

Other projects of BFA 2019 were weekly visits to the girl’s detention center and direct outreach to women in prostitution in Rex park.

Our summer team was a rousing success putting on a week long camp for the children of women in the program, and producing a product for a social business (organic health smoothies) and conducting market research.

We continued to pursue avenues for a social business, but are on a standstill with it as we need someone dedicated to running the social business full time.

 

BFA Africa is able to function because of a dedicated core group of foreign volunteers.  As the director I am deeply thankful for everyone’s effort to help these girls achieve their dreams and potential!

 

The Transition home

We continue to learn and grow as a family.  In January of 2019 we had 4 girls in the house and were providing rent for a girl who was in the process of transitioning out.  One of the girls just finished culinary school and as soon as she has her paperwork together will be working at a prestigious restaurant.  The rest of the girls have quite a few years left of their education, so we will soon be sitting at full capacity for the foreseeable future.

In looking toward the future and seeing the increasing need, the training of staff has emerged as a pressing need.  We are doing a new thing here, therefore there are limited materials, especially in Arabic. I have gathered some counseling books from Egypt that we are working through as a staff, but it is clear that we need a training manual specific to our work.  This past month, and probably for some time to come I have stepped back from direct work with the girls and worked on training the staff and developing training materials.  Translating the material will be quite a project since many of the concepts wont translate directly. We will be putting together a translation committee.  Our hope is to train our current staff to train future staff so that we can open several transition homes throughout the country.

 

The Girls’ Center

A new and exciting development since September is that our national staff have joined myself and one of our volunteers at the girls’ center and are able to share from their lives and experience with the girls in proper language and cultural understanding.  They are still learning how to do public speaking, as this is the first time either of them have attempted to speak in front of a crowd.  They are doing a great job and I look forward to their continued growth!

We have been asked to do lessons focused on sexual health for the girls.  We are honored and looking forward to our continuing relationship in serving the girls at the center.

Social Business

While we remain convinced that starting a social business in order to hire women seeking to leave prostitution we see that we do not have the human or financial resources to pursue that avenue at this moment.  So, we are focusing our energies on the transition home and doing it well.

 

Finances

Two years into running the transition house we are beginning to understand how much things actually cost.  Without the director living in the home the cost of food has gone up considerably (I had been contributing).  The addition of another staff salary and the cost of director’s housing caused the 2020 budget to greatly increase from 2019.  We still hope to receive financial and other helps from local people to offset this budget, but since it comes sporadically it is best to plan for the full amount of our needs.  This means that BFA Africa needs to raise an additional $1,264.67USD per month this year in order to meet our goals.

~Lauren Byler

Founder/ House Director


Summer 2020 Internship

Come On Our Summer Team!

Serve The Least of These in North Africa

Have you been considering a summer internship for 2020?

Do you have a passion to fight to end human trafficking?

Are you interested in other cultures and languages?

 

Our Summer 2020 Internship might be right for you!  Every summer Beauty For Ashes Africa hosts interns for the months of June and July.  The internship is a hands on development opportunity to fight human trafficking by assisting the Director of our Transition Home, and aiding in the creation and implementation of our summer camp at the girls center.  It is a full immersion and eye opening experience.

 

2019 Summer Intern's Review:

When you think of an internship, do you think of coffee runs, paperwork and office meetings? Well, an internship with Beauty for Ashes is a totally different experience. Yes, you may occasionally need to make a run for coffee and have a team meeting, but you will learn so much more.
During my time serving with Beauty for Ashes, I learned the challenges and joys of working for a non-profit in another part of the world. As a part of the team, I had the opportunity to discover all the various aspects of the organization, from the transition home to a new social enterprise. We spent our days encouraging the girls from the transition home, leading a camp for children, and developing smoothie recipes and marketing ideas for a new business. From these days, I gained a deeper love and passion to serve those often neglected by society. I also developed skills that would help me in my future career like effective cross-cultural communication, flexibility, and creative thinking. Yet the most impactful thing was having the opportunity to hear from the hearts of those serving full-time.

If you are ready to apply for the Internship click on: APPLY NOW

If you are interested in the Internship but want to know more fill out this interest form below:

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What is Freecember?

Beauty For Ashes is excited to be launching our FREEcember campaign this month! But you may be wondering, what exactly is FREEcember?

FREEcember is all about FREEDOM in the month of December; it’s one month of focused fundraising for anti-human trafficking and anti-modern slavery nonprofits. This month-long invitation is for more people to donate to anti-trafficking charities everywhere—so, of course, Beauty For Ashes is participating!

This year, we have set an ambitious goal: Beauty For Ashes hopes to raise $20,000 to start a medical fund for the girls in our home.

Currently, we don’t have any sort of medical fund, which means we pay out of our own pockets when the girls need medical help. This fund would help us cover the costs for lab testing, doctor appointments, prescriptions, mental health needs, and various emergencies that arise unexpectedly.

Currently, we’ve raised $3,285. If you’d like to donate, click here.

Here are a few other ways you can get involved with FREEcember:

  1. Find a team to join to help Beauty For Ashes raise more funds.
  2. Create your own challengeand/or build a team. A challenge can be anything you’ve been wanting to do lately, such as give up coffee, feed the homeless, spend less time on your phone, etc. The options are endless!
  3. Like Beauty For Ashes on Facebookand Instagram, then share our posts about FREEcember!

Walk For Freedom

On October 19, 2019 the largest global effort to bring awareness to human trafficking occurred!

In 2017 I was invited to bring the Walk For Freedom to one of the countries in North Africa.

What is the Walk For Freedom? It's is an annual walk that brings awareness to the issue of human trafficking to countries all over the world!  A21 started this movement and it is incredible to see the impact around the world it has to shedding light on such a dark subject to all corners of the globe.

I was honored to try and make this happen! I made incredible progress in the accomplishing that goal when only given one month to do it!  Keep in mind things don't move at the same pace in North Africa as they do in western culture, so progress in one month for such a big goal was a huge success!  During the process, I was able to meet many officials who were encouraging of such a work that included a very sensitive and shameful subject like Human Trafficking.

One of the road blocks to actually seeing the walk for freedom take place was that A21 was not an official organization in the country, and therefore couldn't be given permission to launch such an event.  Because of this hindrance, another government official encouraged me to start an organization there that could begin fighting this injustice!  I was surprised by the encouragement because typically slavery is very touchy subject.

That suggestion launched me into a very prayerful time of what should the next steps be.  Not getting permission to do the walk was disappointing but the process opened doors to something entirely unexpected and potentially more impactful.  I decided to contact an old friend who I knew had a heart to fight human trafficking as I did.  When I called her to tell her about all of the progress, she excitedly told me she was back in North Africa and launching a transition home for girls to prevent human trafficking!!  As we talked we reminded each other of our shared passion, and she asked if I would consider joining the team.

That was how I became part of Beauty For Ashes and this incredible mission to combat slavery in North Africa, and restore beauty and dignity to all humanity!

Check out this year's Walk for Freedom: Global walk to end human trafficking reaches millions: 'Slavery still exists'

—Chrissy


STORY: Learning About Human Trafficking

In my second year of college, I decided to volunteer for a service project that would take me from my comfortable spot in Southern California all the way across the country to Baltimore, MD for ten days. At the time, I was hoping to find a way to make a difference in the world. Soon I was placed on a team with four other girls, and our task was to help an outreach center in whatever way they needed.

Our first few days involved cleaning out two buildings of junk, serving food to the homeless, and helping at a school in a poor neighborhood. Our efforts were visibly helpful; mouths were fed, children were helped and smiling, and the regular outreach volunteers were clearly relieved at not having to bear the entire burden for a time. It felt as though I was able to make a difference, small though it may have been, and I was satisfied. I did my part; maybe I could go on another service project in a year.

With a couple days left before we headed back home, a lady from the outreach center called us together for a meeting one early morning. She introduced us to a friend of hers and a partner of the outreach center named Anne*; we were told we’d be working with her for the final two days. As she sat with us, Anne began talking very seriously about her line of work: caring for women who have been and are currently being trafficked in Maryland. These women, she explained, had been coerced into their position, taken from their homes in other cities, states, and even countries—some could not speak English, some could not read or write. Some had been trafficked, used and abused, for more than a decade.

As a young, white college student who came from a middle class family, I was utterly speechless; I’d never heard the term “human trafficking” before, let alone known about it. I was appalled at mankind—could a person truly force another into hard labor or sex? Could slavery still possibly exist in this day and age—in America? Anger surged through me as I listened, thoughts racing through my head how to stop this from happening.

That day, Anne brought me and one other girl along with her to search for women being pimped out on the streets of Baltimore for sex. The moment was surreal as I pointed at a teenager standing on a corner and asked, “Do you think she is one?” Yes, Anne confirmed, as she motioned towards a man across the street, standing with his eyes sharply focused on the girl. “He watches that nobody takes her away without his consent,” Anne said. We had to pull a U-turn a couple times before parking, then Anne quickly jumped out to give the young girl a plastic bag filled with toiletries. I stared from the car window, watching this young girl deny the bag, shift her eyes towards the man, grab the bag quickly, and walk away. Anne came back, telling me the girls always deny the bag out of fear of being punished but they eventually take it because they need the items so badly—toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, pads. They don’t always get these basic things from the men and women who run their lives.

As I sat on the plane at the end of that ten-day trip, I no longer felt satisfied; what difference had I truly made? Instead, I felt defeated knowing the impact I could make on human trafficking would be dismal. Why even try?

Unfortunately, human trafficking isn’t limited to the streets of Baltimore, MD. It extends around the globe, affecting every single country in the world. Pointedly, North Africa is a prime target for human trafficking due to its position between Europe, the Americas, and Sub-Saharan Africa; it is a major transit zone, as well as a destination spot for many young girls and boys being forced into labor and sex.

It’s been almost ten years since I visited Baltimore. The overwhelming feeling that I am too small to help still comes over me, but now I know the refrain: I am not fighting alone. If we work together, we can be a force that will defeat human trafficking, breaking the bonds of slavery. If we stand and fight together for justice, we can make a difference. We certainly have a responsibility to help, protect, and free our brothers and sisters as we are able. This is why Beauty For Ashes exists—to protect girls from being trafficked and restore those who were. Will you join us?

“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

*Names have been changed for privacy


Volunteers are the Best!

I want to take a moment to say Thank You to two amazing people.  Russell and Stacey. These two people have come to Morocco for the past 7 months from Texas to volunteer their time with Beauty For Ashes.  How incredibly generous is that?

Stacey and Russell immediately became dear friends to us and to our community.  They are easy to like, fun to be around, and hard workers. You can’t get much better than that!  We have been so blessed by their efforts to help our grass-roots organization find our footing and build a strong foundation.  They have quickly become integral to the BFA team, and we are so sad their time is coming to an end.

Stacey and Russell both coordinated, organized and ran activities in the girl’s detention centers.  They worked everyday of the summer camp we held in Fes. They have helped us navigate the chaos of understanding grants and filing the endless stream of documents.  They have dreamt and brainstormed big goals and visions with us, and they have given wise counsel when needed. They didn’t stop there, they have tirelessly helped on every little request we send their way, and even volunteered their time with other groups here doing amazing work in the community, such as a surf camp Kai Shapes does every summer with a local orphanage.  They are always willing to give, never complaining, and up for any adventure.

They have embraced Morocco in all its crazy cultural differences, and immersed themselves in the people and culture of our town.  They have taken the good and the bad all in stride, and trusted there was a purpose behind it all. They have patiently pursued direction on what the next steps are for them all the while wishing they could stay, but being willing to go if led.  

There are not enough words to thank them for their time, their gifts, their energy, and their passion that they have given to Beauty For Ashes.  We are blessed to have had them, and we are sad to see them go. But, we send them off with blessings and knowing wherever they land that place and those people will be given a most unexpected, wonderful gift.  

So, we say Thank You to two of the most generous people!  And we know this is only see you later, because no matter where they end up next, they remain committed to staying connected and helping as we continue in our work here in Morocco.

Cheers to two people who have become some of our closest friends, and are some of the best volunteers we could ask for!

Blessings on your next adventure!