Lauren Sanders

Wipe Every Tear, An Organization Giving Hope to Women Abroad

By Lauren Sanders

Started in 2008, Wipe Every Tear, was founded in the urban poor communities of Manila, Philippines. The organization first began after former teacher and coach, Kenny Sacht and his wife Dawn Ann brought a team of high school students to host a sports camp for local youth in the Philippines. There they met a young woman in need who bravely shared how she was being exploited for sex in her own community and had extreme pain throughout her body. They said yes to taking care of her. Her story embodies what much of trafficking looks like around the world: exploitation of those who are vulnerable, typically due to unbelievable poverty.

   A cap sits regally on the head of a woman once trafficked in the sex trade.  The brilliant colors of a gown she wears sway, dignity displayed as she walks with boldness and grasps her diploma. She tightly grasps her diploma in her hands knowing it is a physical representation of the freedom she now experiences. It is a freedom she never could have experienced if not for Wipe Every Tear, a nonprofit setting women free from the sex trade. This achievement culminates in a full-circle transformation as she steps into her first professional job. How can this be? The simple “yes” of one couple has changed the story for more than 100 formerly trafficked women, their children and families. It is the heart of Jesus. This is a freedom movement. This is Wipe Every Tear. 

    Wipe Every Tear is committed to bringing hope and healing to the lives of women trafficked in the sex trade. Today, Wipe Every Tear has four safe homes: Wisdom, Hope, Love and Freedom. What began as a natural act of compassion has grown to one of the largest rescue and aftercare non-profit organizations in Asia. Sixty-one women and 50 children are currently supported as of this Spring. Every person is provided with food, clothes, allowance, transportation, housing, medical, dental care and tuition. They have everything needed need to thrive! 

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    Livelihood programs such as TAYO Collective have been developed to encourage creativity. TAYO brings dignity to the artisans, who are scholars in Wipe Every Tear’s program, by employing them to create modern, handcrafted jewelry. TAYO has wholesale partners around the world, including The Little Market based in L.A. Eleven women graduated this Spring with their Bachelor’s degree, and forty women are on track to graduate in the coming years. 

    Through education, a safe home that truly is a home, mentorship and empowerment, women rise up out of desperation and into confidence. When one woman’s life is transformed, it causes a ripple effect through generations and stops trafficking at its root cause: poverty and vulnerability. When women are first met in the bars of the Red Light District, they are asked what they dream of studying in college. Most have no answer. They say, “College would never happen for me, why would I dream about it?” Now, their dreams have come alive and are a reality. The gift of dreaming, of choice, of life, has been restored. Hope is alive. Visit https://tayocollective.com/ and https://www.wipeeverytear.org/ to learn more.

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