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Safe home for trafficking victims to open in Springs

By SISTER ROSE ANN BARMANN, OSB
05/15/2020 | Comments

COLORADO SPRINGS. Bahkita Mountain Home, a safe home in Colorado Springs for victims of human trafficking, is closer to becoming a reality.

The home will provide a safe haven, trauma-informed therapy, help with addictions, and life skills such as budgeting for adult women ages 18 and older. The two-year program is modeled on Thistle Farms in Nashville, Tennessee, and is part of a nationwide network of sister organizations based on the same model.

Bahkita Mountain Home is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2018 by a group of Benedictine and Franciscan sisters, lay women and female survivors of sex trafficking. Once renovations are completed, the home will be the first of its kind in Colorado.

The home is named after St. Josephine Bakhita, who was born in 1869 in the African country of Sudan. As a child, she was sold into slavery and endured extreme hardship and suffering. She eventually joined the Canossian order in Italy and died in 1947.

When St. John Paul II canonized St. Josephine Bakhita in 2000, he said the saint is a “shining advocate of genuine emancipation,” noting how despite her abduction into slavery at a young age, she well understood God to be the source of true freedom.”

Fifteen years later, at the urging of Pope Francis, St. Bakhita’s feast day, Feb. 8, became known as the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking. She is the patron saint of all who are trapped in the slavery of human trafficking. It is estimated that nearly 25 million people worldwide are human trafficking victims.

A virtual Walk for Survivors to benefit Bakhita Mountain Home will take place starting May 16. The goal is to raise $190,000 for renovation of the residence. To register, visit www.bakhitamountainhome.org.


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