I believe that like me, some of you gentle readers were a little shaken by the last post on the ill treatment of marginalised women in the Magdalene Laundries. I thought I should follow up that post with a more positive one.
I met a very special person in 2005 when she and I were part of a special study tour of the USA which was organised for representatives of non-profit organisations. She is from Costa Rica and her name is Mariliana Morales. For a more complete telling of her amazing story, follow the link to my previous post “A Gift of Kindness“.
In a nutshell, Mariliana received a vision from God which directed her to work with and for the rehabilitation and rescue of women forced into prostitution. In response, she gave up her thriving business career and entered the dark and dangerous world of pimps and organised crime. Up to that point in her life, she had not even ever met a prostitute but after she obeyed the vision, God led prostitutes seeking help right to her door.
She went on to look for a place to house prostitutes, protect them from their pimps, provide re-training for another job, take in their children and give them education. Thus was founded the Rahab Foundation on November 12th 1997.
In the last 10 years, thousands have benefited from Mariliana’s and the Foundation’s work. Today, they provide sanctuary for over 500 seeking to escape prostitution and to make a new life. Over the years, 70% of those who have come through the Foundation have found freedom to live a new life.
As I was researching for this post, I came to learn that she was honored by U.S. Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, in June 2009 with an award and recognition as a “Trafficking in Persons Heroine” or “Heroine against Modern Slavery”. Congratulations Mariliana and thank you and all those at theRahab Foundation for your great work.
As the Magdalene Laundries was named after a prostitute Mary Magdalene who is mentioned in the New Testament; so too, the Rahab Foundation is named after a prostitute, Rahab, who helped carry out God’s will in the Old Testament.