If there is one universal response from audiences that have screened THE DAY MY GOD DIED, it is: How can I help?
We have been astonished by the generous and imaginative responses to our film and have included some examples that stand out. We also have assembled a list of organizations with Web sites that you can contact if you want to donate your time, financial support or services.
A woman from Los Angeles organized a clothing and toy drive for the children living in the hospices of Maiti Nepal. A young high school student in Columbus, Ohio organized a screening in her church and organized a collection drive and bake sale. A Salt Lake City resident underwrote a border patrol station for Maiti Nepal.
Reebok International employees raised scholarship money for Maili Lama's daughter to attend a Catholic school in Mumbai so that Maili and her husband could continue Maili's courageous undercover work. Their family is now united.
After seeing clips of the film on Oprah, $20,000 in small donations was made to IJM and Maiti Nepal.
A couple from Boston set up a U.S.-based fundraising chapter called Friends of Maiti Nepal. They are organizing trips to Nepal to meet Anuradha and other survivors living at Maiti Nepal.
If you ask the activist on the ground what he or she needs, the first answer is always medicine: there simply is no relief for girls infected with HIV/AIDS. If you are a doctor or a pharmaceutical company employee, you can make a huge difference by contacting SANLAAP, MAITI NEPAL and IJM and working with them to perform a medical mission or donate approved drugs.
The second request is money for prevention initiatives. The cost of rehabilitation is so high and the results still so small compared to the number of girls trafficked, that many NGOs want to invest in pro-active prevention strategies. Building border patrol stations that can double as transitional shelters for newly rescued girls and training survivors to work with and among law enforcement is high on all wish lists.
If you are interested in trafficking issues globally, an investment in IJM is a solid one. They continue to work in countries around the world and most recently have targeted brothel owners in Cambodia with great success. If you are interested in supporting the young women and others like them donations of any amount go a long way in Nepal and India and they are always appreciated.
For more information about IJM and the organizations mentioned above, see Learn More >>
You can get the video of THE DAY MY GOD DIED and show it to friends and family. College campuses, interfaith communities and women's issues groups have been leading the way and lending their voices and resources on these issues. If you want to plan a community event, partner with a local group that has built-in constituencies. Get downloadable resources for community engagement from the ITVS Community Connections Project >>
By asking the question “How can I help?” you have taken an important step in becoming a part of a more complicated and important global conversation. In our lifetime, we will be increasingly asked to deal with the growing disparities in wealth among nations and peoples. As awful as trafficking is as a violation of human rights and human dignity, it is sadly what humans are capable of creating in the absence of shame and accountability. The child sex slave trade is an unfettered marketplace. The trafficking of women and children has now surpassed drug trafficking in profitability. We can and we must be intolerant of this scary global trend. The first step is to acknowledge and denounce it. Your interest and willingness to learn about this makes a difference to the girls in our film. They have described feeling invisible and alone.
Most people asked us what was the most difficult part of making this film. For us, the most difficult part was not the danger of the brothels or the temptation to want to adopt children orphaned by AIDS. The hardest part is finding ways to keep the women and girls we met making the film in our lives and not forgetting their stories or their courage. We all have important obligations in our life and bearing witness to issues like this takes us down paths of inquiry and introspection. We trust you will find a way to carry the strength and resiliency of the survivors in your heart and find some small way to help. In doing so, you will help us deliver on our promise that the film was not in vain and they will not be forgotten.
Thank you for your interest.
Geralyn Dreyfous, executive producer
Andrew Levine, director/producer