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5 Questions: Spreading awareness of sex trafficking is Granite Bay resident's job

By: Eileen Wilson, Granite Bay View Correspondent
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If there was a job description titled “taking care of everyone” Vanda Borders would be hired.

Borders has taken the role of foster parent, Bible study leader, special needs school aide, and missionary seriously. But her recent role of development officer for Agape International Missions might be her most serious job of all.

AIM began in 1989 as a humanitarian aid organization, and today the group has expanded its mission to help victims of sex trafficking in Cambodia and throughout the world, including right here in the Sacramento area. Their programs are designed to fight trafficking, restore victims and transform communities. According to the AIM website, trafficking is a vicious cycle that begins with pedophiles, pimps and traffickers who perpetuate the industry of child sex-trafficking by taking advantage of the vulnerable and profiting off the innocent. Restoration centers and training programs help trafficking victims begin a new self-sustained life without violence or coercion.

The Granite Bay resident shares why the problem is more local than you think.

1. How did you get involved with the organization?

I truly think it was a “God thing.” I received a phone call in May from a person I didn’t know, from an organization that I had never heard of. A mutual friend thought I would be a good fit for the ministry. The “God thing” was that I had literally just prayed about going back to work in a position that would be more than just a paycheck. I wanted to make a difference in a person’s life.

2. What is AIM’s mission?

All of AIM’s programs have been created with the holistic strategy of preventing the problem, with humanitarian aid, health care, education and outreach, rescuing the enslaved, restoring the broken, and equipping the church so that sex trafficking is eliminated forever.

3. What is the one thing that every person should know about human trafficking?

Lack of awareness is a huge problem. Indifference and apathy is what helps perpetrators and pimps keep strongholds on their victims. Greed, power, torture and terror are what delight those who are involved in this “business.” It’s happening right here, and it’s more widespread than I ever would have believed.

4. Isn’t human trafficking a “third world” problem?

Absolutely not. AIM has primarily focused on Cambodia because we have found that Cambodia is where the youngest and most vulnerable victims are. But California ranks in the top three states, and the Sacramento area ranks among the top 10 regions in the nation for reported trafficking victims.

5. What can we do to help victims of trafficking?

Pray — I absolutely believe there is power in prayer. Get involved in promoting awareness and volunteer your time and talents. Visit our website, agapewebsite.org. Also, consider donating. Financial support is a necessary reality for us to continue serving women and children. A dollar a day really can help make a change in someone’s life.

Know an interesting Granite Bay resident that would make a good 5 Questions feature? E-mail Editor Michelle Carl at michellec@goldcountrymedia.com.