Local Charity Impacts Global Problems

Local Charity Impacts Global Problems

by Susan Neuhalfen

Sujo John knows about survival. Shortly after moving to the United States, he found himself on the 81st floor of the World Trade Center on September 11.

“Something had been weighing on me for a while – a feeling of emptiness,” he wrote to a friend in an email at 8:05am that morning. “There is a call for God in my life and I need to answer it.”

At 8:46 the first explosion came. He and his wife, who was pregnant and working in the other tower, were both spared. The Friday after 9/11 was a turning point for Sujo. He was asked to speak at his home church in New Jersey about surviving 9/11 and relating it to the Gospel.

“I was speaking every weekend for months at a time,” he said. “I eventually quit my job and began speaking all over the world.”

To make the traveling easier, Sujo moved his family to Lantana in 2004. They loved the conservative Christian values of Dallas and wanted to raise their kids here. After nearly a decade of non-stop speaking engagements, he decided he wanted to do more than just speak the Gospel, he wanted to live it.

He traveled to other parts of the world, working on clean water projects and building schools, but when his friend took him to the New Delhi red light district, he saw an opportunity to truly make a difference.

“I can identify with these women,” said Sujo. “They needed to be rescued first physically and then spiritually, just as I was after 9/11.”

He started an international anti-human trafficking organization in 2010 headquartered in Flower Mound called YouCanFreeUs Foundation. He and his team have built safe houses in the India and Poland, rescuing victims of human trafficking.

Once the victims are safely rescued, Sujo’s team takes care of their medical treatment, helping them to heal physically and then provides counseling for them. The victims are then educated in a curriculum that promotes value and respect for women, educating them on the dangers of human trafficking and their rights. Finally, they are taught skillsets which lead to job training. The organization then finds them jobs so they may start a better life. They are even starting coffee shops all over the world to give them jobs and raise money for You Can Free Us.

“We have also started raising awareness of the problem of human trafficking in the U.K., the U.S. and Canada,” said Sujo. “Texas ranks #2 behind California in human trafficking.”

To raise money, YouCanFreeUs has hosted many fashion events featuring women who were rescued. They also host art exhibitions and radio and television shows, bringing awareness to the global problem of human trafficking.

Here in Highland Village they host the Run for Freedom Walk for Justice 5k. This year’s event will be at Unity Park in Highland Village on November 18. Register or donate at www.youcanfree.us/run.

100% of all profits go directly to the rescue, aftercare and rehabilitation which is run by a small staff and many volunteers. Several volunteers come from churches in the Flower Mound area to help as well. Sujo encourages everyone interested in getting involved to go to the website and see how they can help.

“The most fulfilling part of my life and my passion is to share this work with others,” said Sujo.

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