Darren Reynolds was tonight's guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Pinjarra. Darren told us about Destiny Rescue, an organisation dedicated to rescuing children from sex slavery in more than 8 countries around the world.
Darren told the audience of his life journey following on from an 18 Year Radio Career.
His life reached a  turning point when he joined a group of volunteers from his church who went to Cambodia in 2005. On this occasion, their work included Christian teaching as well as giving practical help with building projects, and donating food and other needs into the village where their work was based.
And for the first time, he saw at first hand the way people in poverty actually were living; huts built over the only available water source, no sewage system, much illness, no organised educational programs, in very hot conditions, where daily survival is the aim with little hope for that situation to change.
Darren got to know a family in the Village, and wanted to help them after he got back to Australia. His financial help given to the one family however caused a lot of problems for the family in their community; jealousy, bitterness and resentment from those families which had not received assistance.
He realised that in order to help, he needed to do it better and with people who know what help really needed to be given. And for that help to be delivered in a meaningful way into the community at large.
Darren also realised that by using force, fraud or coercion, traffickers can take advantage of a child or community’s vulnerabilities to meet the demand for sold sex and profit from it. When he returned to Australia and reviewed video footage that had been taken, he realised that the "dodgy man" in the video , a man who had been noticed as "out of place" in such a poor village, could well have been an agent for traffickers. Some of the village children were of similar ages to his own. It came as a shock to him to observe at such close quarters that not all children could have a safe childhood.
He asked himself, "How best can I help these poor communities to do more than to survive, and help to keep their children safe?"
Darren came to hear of a group called Destiny Rescue. ( https://www.destinyrescue.org.au )
       Founded in 2001, Destiny Rescue's story began with founder and international president Tony Kirwan.
      While living in Thailand, Tony overheard a man in the street bragging about how he was once invited to have sex with children.“When I heard this story it really hit me and I knew I had to do something,” Tony says. “It was at this                  point, I believe God put the vision of Destiny Rescue in my heart.”
      Today, Destiny Rescue’s work has grown into a worldwide organisation dedicated to rescuing children from sexual exploitation and trafficking and helping them stay free. We serve to help amplify the voices of both those who are                 enslaved and have been freed from abuse.
Darren then showed us a video featuring Tony Kirwan's story about the rescue of a 13 year old girl from a brothel. ( https://www.destinyrescue.org.au/videos/tony-kirwan-little-red-shoes/ )
In 2006, when Darren next returned to Cambodia, he visited a Destiny Rescue refuge home. The home was a compound, securely locked up, and with barbed wire fencing; not to keep the occupants of the home in, but to keep the exploiters out. The persons managing the home were both nurturers and protectors to the rescued girls living there.
Darren wanted to join Destiny Rescue there and then; however, the group did not have representation in Western Australia at that time. So, he joined World Vision, followed by work with the Salvation Army, before joining Destiny Rescue earlier this year when a position became available. Darren is the West Australian Partnerships Manager (Schools) for Destiny Rescue.
Destiny Rescue's Mission Statement is to rescue kids from sexual exploitation and human trafficking and to help them stay free. ... Because of our committed supporters, our rescue and reintegration staff are bringing freedom, hope and healing to children around the clock – day and night!
Slavery Still Exists
At least 1 million children world-wide are victims of sexual exploitation today. Of these, some 99% are girls. About 70% of trafficked children are from the Asia-Pacific region. It is estimated that $99 billion is generated in revenue from this obscene exploitation ANNUALLY.
Destiny Rescue is a family of organisations working together toward the same mission and vision. Offices across three funding nations (U.S.A., Australia and New Zealand) raise crucial awareness and funds to make the work of Destiny Rescue International possible. Together they are fighting sexual exploitation and trafficking of children through rescue, reintegration, and prevention in the following countries: Cambodia, Dominican Republic, Nepal, The Phillippines, Thailand, Uganda, and a number of Undisclosed Countries (to assure the security of Destiny Rescue agents).
Destiny Rescue rescues children and adults from the sex slavery trap. In 2020, the organisation performed 751 rescues – down on other years because of the impact of Covid. In 2021, Destiny Rescue has so far rescued over 1170 individuals – well on track to reach their target of 1283 for the year.
The Destiny Rescue field agents perform their work in a number of ways:
  • covertly pose in bars and organise the rescue of  girls
  • conduct raids with the cooperation of local law enforcement agencies, into locations where girls are being kept
  • agents work at International Border posts to identify and rescue the children as they are being transported– therefore generally before any abuse has started
  • Working with other agencies to improve the home community's economy, so the opportunity for exploitation is minimalised
How Can you help?
Destiny Rescue needs the financial support of those willing to donate so that their work can continue to be funded. A donation of $1500 will fund the rescue of one girl; donating $10,000 will fund a raid. An individual can donate a single amount, or make a monthly contribution. It all helps. (Donations: https://www.destinyrescue.org.au/donate/ )
After all, "Every child deserves to have a childhood".
John Winter thanked Darren for his talk on behalf of the meeting.