Rahab’s Rope mission is simple: Teach women skills to help them find work in their communities in India and prevent them from entering human trafficking.
Funding its organization ties into its mission statement. Rahab’s Rope pays the women in its learning and production centers in Goa, India, for each piece of jewelry or accessory they make.
The formula is proving successful.
From its founding in 2004, Rahab’s Rope has steadily grown from an obscure ministry of trying to stop human trafficking with a small shop on the downtown square to a life-changing nonprofit in a bigger facility.
Rahab’s Rope quietly moved to 118 Washington St. near the Main Street intersection with hopes of continuing its growth.
“The store was growing steadily, and we had some strong growth even earlier, but it slowed down,” said David Moore, who co-founded the nonprofit with his wife, Vicki. “And we knew we had to get more to be able to do more and sustain the organization and its goals.”
The new store houses retail space and a warehouse in a 5,500-square-foot space diagonally across from its previous space of 1,800 square feet on Bradford Street. In the new space, the organization receives goods made by girls in Rahab’s Rope centers in India as well as from artisans in other countries.
“We have about 35 percent more different items in this store,” Moore said. “We have Moroccan pottery, olive wood jewelry from Jordan and more of the patchwork handbags our girls make in India.”
Rahab’s Rope has a team that works with designers in Gainesville and brings the designs and materials to the women in India for production before sending the finished product to the store.
“We know what would be marketable here,” said Susan Lynch, director of outside sales and merchandising. “We look at what cultural materials are there and get them to make things we could sell.”
Some products take as long as three months to order, make and deliver because all are handmade. The items range from jewelry to rice bags to silk jewelry pouches and more.
“The rice bags they consider waste, but they have become popular here,” Lynch said. “Waste to best, the girls call it.”
For the nonhomemade merchandise in store, the proceeds help teach the women and provide housing and food.
“The money pays for the leasing on the production center, two after-care homes for women, education and training and basic needs,” Moore said.
The venue change also signals the organization’s expansion overseas with four stations in India and more girls entering the program.
“We try ourselves to teach them as little as possible,” Lynch said. “We try to find someone in the community (who) knows the skills they need and teach her to become a teacher for the other girls.”
For the near future, Rahab’s Rope is looking to bring knowledge of human trafficking back home and educate students at the local level.
“Vicki’s push for this year is to get into local schools and talk about trafficking,” Moore said. “We want to teach them how to recognize when something is going on, perhaps with a friend or sister, to help prevent it.”
The overseas mission, however, continues to focus on prevention and after-care.
“We are trying to help them get to the next level,” Moore said. “We want them to become successful in communities.”
The new store will hold a grand opening in August with featured suppliers and authors who have written about the organization.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2014
COLLINS HONORS WORK OF LOCAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION
Gainesville Organization Rahab’s Rope Recognized for Global and Local Efforts
WASHINGTON, [May 21] – Congressman Doug Collins (GA-09) today honored the work of Rahab’s Rope, an organization based in Gainesville that fights the worldwide problem of human trafficking.
In a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Congressman Collins urged continued support for efforts to fight human trafficking by citing the example of his constituent, Vicki Moore, who founded Rahab’s Rope to fight against modern slavery.
Congressman Collins said, “Ten years ago, Vicki was alarmed to read about the commercial sex trade in India. But she wasn’t just alarmed. She decided to do something about it.” Congressman Collins went on to explain Rahab’s Rope’s mission to provide hope and opportunity to the women and girls forced into the commercial sex trade in India.
Collins described the unique approach Rahab’s Rope brings to this mission: “Women helped by Rahab’s Rope in India have the opportunity to produce items that are then sold at the organization’s store in Gainesville. Proceeds from those sales go to help even more women and girls in India. The Rahab’s Rope store also serves the important function of raising awareness of the sex trade in India and worldwide. In addition to its work overseas, Rahab’s Rope works with local organizations in Georgia to help women break out of the cycle of poverty through education, skills and training, job coaching, and more.” Congressman Collins closed by commending Vicki Moore for the efforts of Rahab’s Rope and all who partner with them.
Video of Congressman Collins’ complete remarks can be viewed here.
Following his work on the House Judiciary Committee to advance legislation to combat human trafficking, Congressman Collins met with the staff at Rahab’s Rope and other local leaders in this field to discuss the work they do and the ways the federal government can help.
On Tuesday evening, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3530, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, H.R. 3610, the Stop Exploitation Through Trafficking Act, and H.R. 4225, the Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act. For more on this legislation, click here.
Article posted on AccessNorthGA.com on Saturday, May 17th, 2014 at 9:45am
Human Trafficking Roundtable Focuses on Solutions
By Derreck Booth, Editor
GAINESVILLE - The issue of human trafficking continues to draw attention across the world with the kidnapping of nearly 300 girls in Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram in recent days. In our own state, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation recently issued survey results on Georgia law enforcement's awareness of and involvement in human trafficking investigations.
The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council also released a study on services for human trafficking victims in Georgia.
On Tuesday, a group of those committed to fighting the issue held a roundtable discussion in Gainesville.
A big part of that work is Rahab's Rope, a ministry with three locations on the front lines of human trafficking in India. The ministry funds 55 percent of its work through the sale of gift items at a store in downtown Gainesville, at conferences it hosts and through the mail.
Many of those items are made by women being educated through the ministry in India.
Laura Hamilton attended Tuesday's roundtable. She serves the mission in Mumbai, where volunteers visit a brothel five days a week, providing basic education, sharing a faith in Christ message and building relationships with women who have no hope.
The people who hold the woman against their will in the sex trade actually welcome the Rahab's Rope volunteers in Mumbai.
"It's been one of the most surprising things I think about working there is that those madams, controllers, brothel owners have been one of our biggest open doors into the area," Hamilton said.
"We just take an approach where we try to be available to everyone and just take kind of a non-judge mental approach towards them. We've just come in and tried to get to know them as individuals and as people," Hamilton added.
She said volunteers have found that a lot of those in power in the brothels have been in sex trade for most of their lives.
"A lot of the women, especially the madams, were trafficked themselves as 13-14 year-old girls, so this is the only life they've ever known, Hamilton said.
Asked if she feared for her life or safety in her mission work, Hamilton said the women they minister to actually look out for their safety.
"There were some scary days, (early in the ministry) but for the most part, I feel like I'm where the Lord has called me to be, and that to me is the safest place to be."
Mike Queen also spoke on the human trafficking issue at the roundtable. The Sgt. in the Hall County Correctional Institute and former Department of Natural Resources Ranger said he saw a video on the issue and was deeply moved.
"He (God) moved on me to do something locally and partner with some ministries right here locally. He's took me a long way so far and (I'm) hoping to go further," Queen said.
Among other efforts, Queen has taken something he knows well, handgun training, and parlayed into a way for him to raise money and awareness of ministries that combat human trafficking.
"A lot of times I don't think God wants us to be something that we're not, but He wants you to take what's your God-given talent and use it to help people," Queen said.
He donates 20 percent of what he takes in from his handgun training events and classes to organizations who fight human trafficking."
Following the roundtable discussion, Rahab's Rope officials showed off their new store space. The ministry purchased the old Burton's store on the Gainesville Square. The move from its leased storefront on the opposite side of the square will give the retail operation and ministry 5500 square feet of space per floor. Organizers hope to have a soft opening at the end of June.
In addition to more space, Vicki Moore, ministry founder and CEO said their work locally is expanding. That focus is on students.
"We see our part as again education and awareness, which is a lot of what we've always done, but being able to do that with students locally in the community," Moore said.
"The number for the state of Georgia that a girl is tricked or forced into prostitution is 13- years-old. Just from that one number, we know how unaware and unassuming that these young girls are that they're tricked and forced into that," Moore added.
Rahab's Rope officials have already worked in some local schools and hope to expand that number.
Ninth District Congressman Doug Collins attended the roundtable in preparation for some bills related to the subject, possibly coming next week on the House floor. The three bills have been passed out the judiciary committee, which Collins serves on.
"They basically deal with sort of cutting off all of the avenues," Collins said.
He said it includes advertising revenues for trafficking, including online aspects of how the controllers recruit and market victims. The bills also deal with issues of safe harbor for victims, so they don't get caught up in the criminal system.
"It's going to be a very big issue on the House floor, and we look forward to the Senate taking those up as well."
Human trafficking continues to get coverage across the U.S. Collins also urged those at Tuesday's roundtable to utilize local and Atlanta media, as the bills hit the House floor, in order to raise awareness.