Waikanae Baptists' Trip



July 1,2010

In December 10 Waikanae Baptists are heading for one of the most notorious vice areas in the world.

They’re going to be spending 15 days in the most infamous sex district in Kolkata , one of the poorest, dirtiest and most needy cities in the world.

Baptists earn fares for India trip Photo by Jack Penman (c)

But first they have to earn their fares — and so recently they signed up as catering staff at a mid-Winter function at the Waikanae Medical Centre.

Some worked in the kitchen and others waited on tables for the ‘Bollywood Theme” evening. All seemed to enjoy the experience.

Unlike most foreigners they are not going to India to have a good holiday, but to volunteer their time to “Freeset,” a Christian charity which works to save women from prostitution.

10,000 prostitutes in sex district

Freeset is located in Sonagacchi, where more than 10,000 women “stand in line” selling their bodies to thousands of men who visit daily.

There, within a few square miles, live poverty-stricken women who have been trafficked from Bangladesh, Nepal and rural India.

For others poverty has left them without any option –the cries of their hungry children drive them to sell their bodies.

Freeset works by giving some of these women an alternative– making bags and clothing to sell overseas.

This gives them a fair wage, enabling them to feed their families and regain their dignity – setting them free in fact.

Charity needs help from overseas

The Waikanae Baptists say they believe Freeset is doing amazing work for the women and their families, but it needs to expand its buildings so it can employ more women.

The Waikanae team will help with the renovations, as well as talking to the women and finding out how they can continue to help when back in New Zealand.

This trip is going to cost each member of the team $3000.

As part of our fundraising, the Waikanae Church will wait on guests at the Health Centre Midwinter Function.

There also will be a raffle during the evening and donations will be invited.

The Baptists say they really need the community’s help.

The team going to India are: Nigel Scott (pastor),Denise Creasy (school teacher), Peter Cameron , Philippa Edwards,Debby Magee (school leaver),George Dryburgh (school leaver),Shaylee Scott (Year 13 student),Jason Creasy (Year 13 student), and Callum Fordice (Year 13 student).

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