Tanda began her work in the United States 4 years ago battling human trafficking. She worked for governmental organizations, but she realized there was potential to make a greater impact internationally- and the doors had just begun to be opened.
Her work now is through a church in the Philippines, called Project Compassion. Their mission is to provide freedom, eduction, and empowerment for girls as they help them leave the dangerous trade.
The fight for freedom is rather self explanatory, freedom for them means not having to involve themselves in a dangerous industry because they have no other choice. Education is important because as a result of their situation, they often have not had the opportunity to go to school, or at least complete it. Education in turn, leads to empowerment, allowing the girls to further themselves and grow.
Project Compassion is a new ministry, only operating since October. Their goal is to provide a safe haven, and help the girls not to fall back into prostitution and to keep them away from drugs. Most of their residents are 13-18 years old, and prostitution is often all they know. But now, they are all making a conscious decision to change their lives. Right now, this is conducted through one on one meeting or small groups, Tanda says, so they can figure out where each girl is individually.
"We are trying to build a community of different backgrounds. Everyone brings something different to the table, and one person cant do it alone. We hope that in 5 years, we can have 5 full time staff members. As of now, it is Filipino natives running the program with the assistance of behind the scenes coordination, training and counseling."
Project compassion is hoping to fund a farm and dormitory to provide a safe space for personal growth. They are currently fundraising $15,000 for startup costs, and while they are about a third of the way there, they still have a ways to go. "We go around to local businesses and churches presenting the ministry," Tanda told us, "and in May, the American missionaries will come here."
Tanda hopes that they can raise awareness for more than just this individual project. If you would like to learn more, or get involve with Project Compassion in any way, find them on Facebook here.