MADISON (WKOW) -- An upcoming run in Madison will raise awareness of sex trafficking and funds to support exploited women in Southeast Asia.
The Aruna Project is a national non-profit organization that brings freedom to enslaved women. Last year, the first Madison run raised more than $15,000. This year's event is Saturday, October 10 at Vilas Park starting at 9:00 a.m. Check-in begins at 8:00 a.m.
In the past year alone, 12 women have been freed from a life of sex slavery and are now working at Somerset Exports, a business started by The Aruna Project to employ survivors. A Madison Aruna Project organizer says many sex traffickers target young girls. "Commercial sexual exploitation is a complex global crisis affecting virtually every nation. In a city in India where the Aruna Project works, there is an area roughly the size of Madison's Isthmus where 15,000 women are held captive in the sexual slave trade, exploited several times per day for the mere cost of a cup of coffee," says Alex Pence. "Everyone can do something to help bring freedom to the enslaved. Whether you've collected gold medals, trained as a weekend warrior, or are simply willing to take a long walk, we invite you to join us in Running for Their Freedom."
The Aruna Project's work includes efforts to rehabilitate women and children through counseling, adult literacy, classes, and skill and trade development.
For more information on The Aruna Project or the run, click on this link.