Nonprofit Organization Successfully Conducts Largest Rescue Operation in Its History
Set Free, a global nonprofit organization that works to end child slavery around the world, recently announced its most successful rescue to date. On June 6, 2022, the organization conducted a large-scale rescue operation that freed 792 enslaved children from a slate mine in South Asia.
Working with regional partners, the Set Free team spent the first part of 2022 researching and planning the operation. Estimates projected that 500 children, ranging in age from 7-15 years old, would need to be rescued and cared for until they could return to their families. With this number in mind, Set Free launched a fundraising campaign to raise the money necessary for the ambitious mission.
“The rescue isn’t the expensive part. Caring for the children until they can be reunited with their families, that’s the expensive part,” said Set Free CEO Sarah Kelley. “We wanted to ensure we could sustain monthly funding at the level that would allow us to care for the children currently in our facilities. From there, we wanted to increase our support to care for the additional children we expected to come in. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, this was the first mission that was planned and coordinated to rescue an entire mine of kids.”
During the rescue operation, volunteers managed to free 792 children, roughly 58% more than expected. Thanks to the generosity of donors and partner organizations, Set Free raised enough money to conduct the rescue, staff the safe houses, provide medical aid, and fund ongoing care for each child.
To date, 331 of the rescued children have been reunited with their families, and the Set Free team continues to work toward reuniting as many children with their families as possible. For those who cannot return to their families, Set Free will work with local pastors and volunteers to ensure they receive the care and support they need to thrive in their newfound freedom.
“Thanks to the incredible work of our team and our partners, we have been able to free 4,102 children from slavery this year alone,” Kelley shared. “We know our mission is big, and these numbers show that we’re making an impact. We are eternally grateful to our donors; their support makes these rescues possible.”
She added, “While the numbers are encouraging, I think it’s the individual stories that show the true impact of our work. After our June 6th operation, we received this incredible message from one of the girls who was rescued:
‘I am 14 years old, and I was bought by the mine agent at the age of 10 years old. He took me to the mine and forced me to work. After the rescue, we all came to a church and slept. The next day, women doctors came to check on us and give us medicine. For the first time in years, I had breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I never expected to see anything outside of that rocky pit again. I can’t express my joy for being here and am beginning to talk to God and thank Him for setting me free.’”
Set Free will host its annual gala at the Greenville Convention Center on Thursday, September 29, 2022. With a theme of “Reflections of Hope,” this year’s event will offer a wonderful opportunity to meet the Set Free team and hear updates from partners, donors, and families impacted by the organization’s work over the years.
To become an event sponsor or purchase tickets, contact Claire Walters at [email protected].
To learn more about Set Free’s mission and how you can get involved, visit setfreealliance.org.
About Set Free
Set Free is a faith-based nonprofit organization that shares God’s love by meeting humanitarian needs in underserved regions around the world. We work in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and India, giving fresh water, providing medical aid, preventing child slavery, rescuing children, and planting churches in places that are too often overlooked. We believe in a world where all are set free through Christ.