calcutta, india.

As many of you know I had the opportunity to go to Haiti this past spring. The events that took place are etched into my mind and will transcend ideas, thoughts, and actions for the rest of my life. We had the unique opportunity to live and work alongside the villagers of Mano, Haiti. The nights were long and suffocatingly hot,the food was of a different culture, and the daylong hikes to destinations were extensive. But the amount of lives that we were able to touch far far surpasses any physical discomfort I was succumbing to.
because of haiti, i saw that i could help make a difference in this world. it gave me hope that even though the worlds problems pose a daughnting task to overcome, and i may not be able to help each and every person, i can make a notable difference if i put my heart into it. i recently read a report that stated that between 10-40 million people are in slavery in india alone (estimates are so broad because no one knows for sure) ( a lot of times these people are forced into sexual slavery to pay the bills of their fathers, for debts as low as 10$, the majority being women.

'We Americans are, to be sure, an imperfect people, but we are fortunate to be guided by ideals that summon us to become even nobler and indeed to pursue our perfect union. Those same ideals lead America into the world to combat the dehumanization of women in all its forums, especially the international evil of human trafficking, a modern form of slavery for millions of women.'
-secretary of state rice
THERE ARE MORE SLAVES IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW THAN THERE WERE DURING THE CIVIL WAR. we must put an end to it, we have to be the generation that stands up and make a difference.
india is an amazing culture, and by the end of our lifetime's it will be a world superpower. but haunting india is the disturbing amount of child sex trafficking and prostitution that litters many of its streets. even now, children as young as 6 & 7 years old are being sold into prostitution on the streets of Calcutta. It is time we do something about it.
i decided that i don't want to be the only band member anymore when going to these distant countries, i want it to impact the entire music industry to help in one way or another. this trip to india will involve several bands, and several organizations willing to make a difference.
this janaury myself and several other bands are going to india to work with an organization called Ten and their daughter organization Made By Survivors, which are both non-profit organization that helps take children and slaves out of their current situation and teaches them a skill or trade that will help them throughout the rest of their lives.
that is what we are doing, but we can't do this alone, we need you to help.
what you can do to help:
1. educate yourself: there are several books about the topic, but some really good online resources are; which is the State Department General Trafficking site 2005 Human Rights Report (gives you a general overview of the human rights issues in every country around the world) State DepartmentÂ’s Democracy and Human Rights site (includes info on full range of HR issues including religious freedom)

2. write letters of support to your local government, they need to know that this is an important issue to you.alsoo secretary of the state condoleezza rice is a big supporter of the ending of human trafficing, so write her a letter of thanks!

3. write some emails to signed bands who you might think would want to go, encourage them to contact my manager for more details (

4. send us your thoughts, and prayers so that this trip is safe, organized, and productive.

5. if you want to send a financial donation so band's that can't otherwise afford it contact sarah freeman, the project coordinator (

Please consider working with us to help the peoples of the world, the widows and orphans, the helpless and hurting. You can make a difference in this world, and here is the opportunity.
Thank you so much,


Anonymous said…
This is so exciting. Thank you for helping to organize this effort. I know this opportunity is going to raise awareness and move hearts to take action.

For love, mercy, and justice.

Thank you, thank you.
-Sarah Weichhand
Janelle said…
I think it's amazing that you're doing this. My thoughts & prayers will definetely be with you & I really hope this is a success.
Tracy said…
Wow! Too often people in America are so self-absorbed that we forget the needs of others all around the world. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. This effort will be in my thoughts and prayers and I am ready to research and see how I can help.
God bless!
Anonymous said…
You are my hero. Not because you do this things, i think that's just common sense. But because you manage to inspire me and others to do the same.
kristy said…
i am definitely going to check out the ways that i can help, thank you for providing the information!
Joanne said…
Thanks for bringing to light some of the issues that the world seldom pay attention to. I would definitely keep your band and the others going with you on your next trip in my prayers.
kimlikewhoa said…
my prayers are def. with you guys.
Heather said…
you, and the rest of the people doing this, are great. thank you for everything you've done, and will continue to do.
Laura said…
I want to go!
I have been looking for an oppurtunity to go to India for quite some time. I am fascinated by the counties culture, people, and struggles. I will be praying for this effort. Good luck!
Anonymous said…
This is a wonderful outreach. Another band Showbread is involved with this as well.

My prayers are with you, Stephen, and all of the other people involved.
Your heart never ceases to amaze me! I am going to do all I can to help...financially and with my prayers. "We can change the world if only you and I." Everyone can make a difference if they just get involved.
-A :)
sj. said…
Can I come with?!
Meg said…
Your efforts to better the lives of those less fortunate around the world so often astound me and leave me wishing I could do something myself. My thoughts and prayers are definitely with you and any other bands who make this journey. However, I would like to do more than just donate money or write letters. I would love to go on a mission like this myself and I would really love (as a photojournalist in the making) to be able to document such a venture as the one you're putting together. Any information you could offer in my quest would be amazing.
Brightest said…
After reading this I feel really self absorbed and ridiculous. My problems are nothing.

You're a good soul Esteban. This world could use a lot more of you running around.

In one way or another, I vow to help. Really.

oh man, ill pray for you right now on this.
Lord God i pray right now for stephen, Lord as well as others involved in this vision you have guided them towards. i pray that throughout this, holy spirit you are guiding them, leading them into this. and place a hedge of protection around them not only physically Lord, but also around their hearts and minds. let them think of things above; give them minds that think in the spiritual.
i pray that you prepare them at this time. ready them for servanthood. and God through this they might learn that much more about you. coming closer to your heart by providing help for your children.
bless them indeed. i pray for an anointing upon their heads Lord. and magnificent favor. that wherever they go, every situation they will have favor. God i pray that your hand is always over them, protecting. and providing. Lord provide all that they are to need. and if that takes a huge amount of faith, God let them feel this now. let this rise up in them, a trust that is unfaltering. and so Lord, reassure.
in your name.
as for the prostitution, i cannot even imagine their world. it must be terrible im sure. but thats where us as christians can start to intercede for them. stand in the gap and pray for them when they cannot pray for themselves. and i think its amazing that you had the chance to visit that country. and even better that you had the chance to work with those villagers.
Michelle (WMUM) said…
Wow, that's awesome, Stephen. Really really good to hear about this project. :) It's gonna be a good eye opener for yourself and the other bands who're going on this trip. Take care and continue to persevere! May the Lord go before you and the team and protect you on all sides.
mich (wmum) said…
ps: you're already making a difference in other people's lives, even if you don't see it or know about it. but in time to come, you'll get to see all those people whose lives you've impacted and touched, in more ways than one. continue to do what you do. :)
Meg-a-roni said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Meg-a-roni said…
What exactly are you guys going to do when you get there?
berty and gerty said…
wow thats a great thing you guys are doing. Those girls in calcutta really do have nothing ...we often hear about things that are happening over there, feel sad for them for a bit and never really do anything.

thankyou for raising awareness on this- i remember last year standing up in front of assembly at school and talking about the street prostitutes in calcutta trying to raise money for them... but honestly most people dont give a stuff whats happening to people on the other side of the world!!!

Thanks again, and my prayers will be with you guys.
Katie said…
This is a good thing. I will pray.
Lani.Coreen said…
I didn't know it was that bad in India... Makes me feel ridiculous for the little things I cry about... What an unfortunate situatuin for the people over there. Thanks for bringing this to my attention Stephen. It's time to lift up this country and others of this nature to God. Thank you for your commitment to their community...
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
I travel to Central American to bring relief to the impoverished people of Nicaragua every year, just as you had the chance to in Haiti. I'm majoring in Film at BU so i can hopefully raise awareness through documentary what goes on in our world today. Thank you so much Stephen for raising awareness about India to our generation. I pray that one day people will stop defining themselves by their area code, zip code, country code, and just realize that we are all part of the human race and all share the same world, so why not help each other out? Future generations of America look up to you and your fellow bandmates. If they see you doing the right thing hopefully we have a promising future. I cannot express how much your compassion for the world means to me. Thank you so much and God bless.
Angela Flignor said…
-Hopefully one day these children can get out of the dump and not have to live off of garbage.
pineapple said…
6.Go and see India for yourself
pineapple said…
This some words were pharsed in a way that made me want to go on a missions trip again.
Story of a Girl said…
thank you for sharing about injustices that we sometimes havened realized. i was shocked...

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