North Hollywood-based anti-human trafficking organization Unlikely Heroes is on a global mission. Operating programs on the ground in the Philippines, Thailand, and Mexico, Unlikely Heroes rescues, restores, and rehabilitates child victims of sex slavery.
Unlikely Heroes works in these high-risk areas to rescue kids and restore their lives by providing safe housing, medical care, nutrition, education, therapy, and life skills. The group also raises funds for awareness and prevention campaigns, and has trained teams in seven countries to support their rescue efforts.
Unlikely Heroes is named after a collective group of people across the world who refuse to leave 27 million people trapped in sex slavery. The name Unlikely Heroes also refers to children who have been and are about to be rescued.
Founder Erica Greve and Strategic Outreach Director Ben Decker are both dedicated yoga practitioners committed to social justice. “To us, these rescued kids are the heroes,” they say.
Erica has dedicated her life to seeing to it that the lives of at-risk children are protected and improved worldwide. She has a Master’s degree in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Ben was raised in a spiritual household. He is a former Hollywood publicist and socialite, but now is committed to living his dharma: encouraging people to broaden their consciousness. “We all have a role to play in abolishing modern-day slavery,” says Ben.
On Sunday February 16, two girls, sick and emaciated, were rescued by an Unlikely Heroes team, including a previously rescued teen named Apple. The two girls are now receiving medical care and living with Apple at Unlikely Heroes’ Hope Home in the Philippines. While attending an Unlikely Heroes fundraising event at Guru’s Gate in Manhattan Beach that night, yogis Erica and Ben received word that the girls were brought to safety; an example that the groups’ efforts are making a profound impact on the lives of these trafficked teenagers.
“These rescued kids are so inspirational. They are powerful survivors who dream of making a real difference in the world,” says Erica.
To learn more about Unlikely Heroes and how you can support their efforts, visit unlikelyheroes.com.
by Julie Buckner, who is the Owner/CEO of InYoga Center: inyogacenter.com
Olivia Kvitne is a Los Angeles yoga instructor specializing in yoga therapy for veterans struggling with PTSD. One of the influences in her life was her grandfather, a WWII vet, and later a psychiatrist who embraced using the mind to heal the body: TheYogaAbbey.com @OliviaKvitne