Mozambique & Myanmar Projects Closed
Filed Under: Blog, International News, Press Releases, Rescue
To our friends, family and wonderful supporters,
It’s with sadness, but hope, that I write this to let you all know that we have closed down our Projects in Myanmar and Mozambique.
Sadness because I hate taking a backward step; hope because of what’s to come, but more on that later.
We have spent the last five years developing our Rescue and Prevention Projects in Myanmar, and attempting to build strong relationships with local authorities and communities there. Unfortunately, this has proved extremely difficult in recent times.
Our Country Managers worked relentlessly to build a strong progamme in Myanmar, and last year we rescued 34 girls and had 79 children in our Prevention Home – a wonderful achievement. However, economic, social and political failings in Myanmar have made it impossible for us to continue to operate in a safe and sustainable way, and recently we made the tough but necessary decision to close our Project there.
We haven’t given up on Myanmar. My, our, deepest desire is to see all children, no matter where they are, freed from sexual exploitation and this most certainly includes Myanmar. But it’s hugely important for me that Destiny Rescue is a good steward of the donations you generous supporters give us, and we can’t continue to operate in Myanmar securely and in a financially sustainable way.
To be frank, we found it difficult to find people who were trustworthy and we were betrayed on a number of occasions.
I’m sad to say it’s a similar situation with Mozambique.
Africa was actually the first place we started Destiny Rescue back in October 2001 but over the past years it has proved frustratingly difficult to find people to trust in Mozambique. Every time we did, we ran into problem after problem. Theft was a major issue, and there were serious risks to the health and safety of our expat volunteers.
Again, economic, social and political weaknesses have proved too much for us to continue to operate there safely and sustainably, so we have closed our Project there and sold our assets.
At the height of our Mozambique Project we were taking care of 52 boys, all of whom have either been successfully reintegrated or are now being cared for by a like-minded non-profit.
I’m really disappointed at how these events have unfolded – not with Destiny Rescue expat staff – but it reminds me of the broken world we live in, where people will do whatever they can to get ahead and look out for themselves, even if it means stealing from and betraying a non-profit like ours.
Let me assure you we don’t have these issues in our other Project Nations!
I mentioned hope at the start of this letter and that’s because I believe situations like these can be redeemed – they aren’t hopeless!
So we press on!
For those who saw my latest video in our newsletter, I mentioned Destiny Rescue has a slight shift in focus for 2015. As we continue to grow and rescue more and more children, it is vital we have the infrastructure and resources to provide top quality aftercare to our rescued children.
So while we will continue to rescue children this year, our focus will be on strengthening our Aftercare Programmes to ensure long-term sustainability. I’m hoping to hire more aftercare staff and pump more funding into those programmes so our rescued children come out the other side stronger than ever!
Please join me in praying specifically for a strengthening of our Aftercare Programmes, and also for our staff who have left Mozambique and Myanmar after pouring so much of themselves into their projects. Please also pray for the countries and their governments: so much goes against the people in these countries and it’s the children who suffer the most. We are praying for the day we can return to both of them to bring freedom to the captives and hope to the hopeless.
My deepest thanks for everything you continue to do for Destiny Rescue.
Founder and International President