This Saturday, September 18, Real Life Church in Valencia will hold a benefit concert from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for ZOE Children’s Homes, an international Christian organization that rescues children forced into human trafficking.
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According to ZOE’s website, human trafficking is a multi-billion industry. With estimates of 12.3 million stuck in sex slavery or forced labor, approximately 50 percent are children.
“Hopefully the end result is that we raise some awareness and give people some understanding of the human trafficking that is taking place,” said Javier Labrador, ZOE Director of Partnering Development.
“We want Santa Clarita residents to understand they can make a difference – that they can have an impact and change the life of a rescued child.”
ZOE works on three levels: first in prevention, where they educate residents, often oblivious, of the horrors of human trafficking; next is intervention, where ZOE team members will try and rescue a child or stop them from being sold; last is aftercare, which Labrador says makes ZOE so unique.
“The aftercare is where we really shine to give these kids hope and a future. The aftercare is twenty-four seven. (The kids) become part of the ZOE family where they are provided for completely,” he said.
According to Labrador, that care includes supporting the child’s schooling, diet, medical care and vocational training when they get older.
“Our goal is to make them a vital force back in society. We want to continue to protect them and give them a place where they can be loved and avoid the risk of once again being sold.”
At Saturday’s event, there will be a silent auction to start things off, followed by a concert by Mandie Pinto and her band.
A popular Christian songwriter, Pinto has won notable awards in the Billboard Song Contest and the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.
She is also the worship Team Leader at the church, where she heads the 35 musicians and singers, plays keyboards and arranges songs. Her songs can be heard at MandiePinto.com.
The organization also hopes that attendees will take advantage of their new child sponsorship program, which allows individuals to make monthly contributions toward a rescued child’s well being.
Click here to RSVP to the event at the Real Life Church. The theater holds 1,200 and will be distributed on a first-come first-served basis.
To learn more about ZOE are their tireless mission, visit zoechildren.org.