Fighting Child Trafficking: Local Woman Cycles 3,000 Miles To Raise Awareness


By Katherine Koenig – Local resident Amanda Christmann Larson is making a difference. A big difference for dozens and dozens of child slaves she’s looked into the eyes of. Sold by their own parents in Africa, each child is hoping for someone to help.

“These children are living the most horrific nightmare anyone can imagine,” says Larson. “They’re forced into dangerous and inhumane labor, into painful and degrading sex acts and denied identity as human beings.”

Many parents were promised children would attend school and be well cared for. Not the case. They are beaten. Forced to sleep in the mud. They go hungry and fear for their lives. Larson, a Cave Creek area resident, is the Executive Director of Compassionate Journeys, a non-profit group offering safe volunteer opportunities and spreading awareness about human trafficking in the United States and abroad. She’s teamed up with another dedicated volunteer she met in Africa named Deb Hoenig. Together, they’re currently cycling coast to coast on a grueling 3,093 mile bicycle ride from California to Florida, holding press conferences in cities along the way

“We have seen these children and are helping to build a home and community resources for as many as we can. These modern day slaves deserve a voice – and since their voices are not loud enough – we’re using ours.”

Two women. Two bikes. Stopping the cycle of child trafficking. Follow their journey at www.babesblockingtraffic.org or visit www.compassionatejourneys.com. You can also help to protect Arizona children by signing a petition at www.protectazchildren.com.

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