Wake Up … The Children Are Crying!!

How many times have you had a feeling that a child was being abused? Maybe you saw a parent exhibit a temper and the child shriek with fear. Or a peculiar mark that the child had difficulty explaining. Are the signs SO evident? Do you have to read an educated article or take a class to be aware?

I remember once I brought up that I am working for anti-child abuse efforts. The parents were silent. Either they did not understand or they didn’t care about charity. But another idea crossed my mind later. Did they have a history of child abuse occurring in their household…perhaps below the radar. So their guilt didn’t allow for them to react. I will say that this was only a thought, and not a really feeling that they were the type to abuse their child. But isn’t that the question at hand? Are we realizing when a child is crying for help, even when the signs are not easily evident? Are we awake…?

In the USA, more than 4 children die from abuse each day. Abuse increases the occurrences of other negative acts, such as:

  • prostitution/human trafficking
  • use or selling of narcotics
  • getting involved in gang-related activities
  • homicides
  • physically hurting themselves (i.e. suicide)
  • continuing the perpetuating cycle of child abuse

These acts promote societal breakdown by removing children (and women) from their communities and fuels organized crime groups that usually participate in other illegal acts, such as drugs and weapons trafficking. Organizations exist globally, but the number of individuals supporting the cause doesn’t scale to the number of victims suffering from abuse.

I am not the one to surf the WEB all day. But I came across one of the most horrific and heartbreaking clips that I have seen in a while. And perhaps it is because I do not watch to news as much as I should. But the person who posted the comment has been receiving mixed emotions, with some saying he is disgusting for continuing to the post, others defending that he is making it known to the public for awareness purposes, and then basically the rest commenting directly on the events taking place in the this video.

So my question is… Wouldn’t you rather post several times, versus just once, so that more viewers can see that child abuse is REAL?

I am the worst blogger ever. I have been gone for a while now, with traveling back to the states and all some time back. And this story compelled me to write. Life is really screwed up. And it is crazy to me how much our eyes are wide shut.

I know this video can be a bit disturbing. And you are entitled to have your opinion that I shouldn’t share it because it is too “graphic”. But the truth is, it is real. It is happening. And people are not aware. And many that are stand by and allow it to happen. I hope you are able to understand the reason I chose to post this somewhat controversial clip on my page.

Let’s bring awareness to our communities. Our children our dying!! How are we making a contribution?

National Missing Children’s Day is on May 25, 2015. The night before this event I will be on an airplane on a tedious and tiring flight I imagine. But I intend to make a contribution. Even if you are reposting something that brings awareness to this issue, you are making a contribution. Let’s do our part and work together to end child abuse.

Here are a few sites with some helpful information:

World’s Oldest Profession: The Global War Against Prostitution

It has been said that prostitution is the world’s oldest profession. There has been an on-going concern with efforts to eliminate prostitution, exploitation, and human trafficking, while working to fight for human rights and minimize overstepping the boundaries of “freedom of choice”.

In 2001, the number of prostitutes in the world was estimated at 40 million. As of 2014, there are about 13 million prostitutes (that are accounted for) in the world, based on a 7.1 billion population count approximately. While this is a drastic “improvement”, prostitution is still an ongoing and reoccurring concern. In 2007, experts estimated 1 to 2 million prostitutes worked in the United States, with the FBI’s 2007 Uniform Crime Report listing about 78,000 arrests for prostitution and commercialized vice, but with experts saying those numbers were extremely conservative because many sex workers and clients aren’t caught. According to a 2013 report from anti-trafficking group, Shared Hope International, at least 100,000 children are prostituted each year as part of the $9.8 billion United States sex trafficking industry. As of 2014, there are still about 1 million prostitutes in the U.S., based on a 317 million population count approximately.

In countries such as France, while the accounted for number of sex workers is about 20,000-40,000, it is problematic that the only data available was presented in 2011, when 654 cases were registered, and that there is no available data on the abuse of children, when many of them are forced to beg on the streets. As of January 2014, unemployment reached an all time high for France at 3.3 million. These statistics have contributed to an increase in human trafficking, as it has in other parts of the world. In a January 2013 report, Traite des êtres humaines en France, the Council of Europe expressed concern about France’s data records on human trafficking and warned the French authorities that more resources should be allocated to tackling the prostitution phenomenon.

Or Spain, where Prostitución was decriminalised in 1995. Prostitution itself is not directly addressed in the Criminal Code of Spain, but exploitation, such as pimping, is illegal. Owning an establishment where prostitution takes place is in itself legal, but the owner cannot derive financial gain from the prostitute or hire a person to sell sex because prostitution is not considered a job and thus has no legal recognition. Some areas have implemented fines for street prostitution. Spain has been referred to as The World Capital of Prostitution, with Brothels being common, hidden-away establishments, and with a small group of workers offering Intro to Prostitution Courses. With the population in Spain being a little more than 47 million in 2014 (about 46.67 million in 2011), and with the country having an estimated 300,000 sex workers in 2011, prostitution and illegal activities accounts for 9 billion Euros of Spain’s GDP.

These types of issues are occurring in many countries. Prostitution generates $40 billion a year, mainly benefitting those who are trafficking people and drugs. Unfortunately, it is feared that the government’s efforts to eliminate prostitution in some countries may be counterproductive and it will only make those involved more careful at hiding and covering their trails to prevent getting caught.

As for the legality of prostitution, in 2013, about 50% of our globe’s countries reported prostitution being legal, with 11% being partially legally, and then 39% being illegal. As of 2014, while statistics have somewhat improved, it is still a fight that we appear to be losing.

I have been inspired to include prostitution in my blog based on personal experiences and individuals I have had the honor of meeting. I recently came across Stefanie Zillner’s article, Let’s Dare to Speak About Prostitution, a week ago on the 2013 Euroviews Educating Europe forum, which discussed how not only is involuntary prostitution an issue, but more surprisingly, “is the number of people who prostitute themselves out of desperation…they cannot afford their study”. How crazy is this? People prostituting themselves because they can’t afford the ridiculously expensive education that our government continues to increase!! It kind of pisses me off…

I know you may see me take breaks in my blogs as I have a lot going on. I hope to travel the world and fight against prostitution and human trafficking. I will discuss some disturbing issues. I will introduce you to some people who might make you feel uncomfortable, or completely touched. Prostitution is a major issue occurring in our society and it is unfortunate that it is an issue that we may not ever be able to rid. But we can do our best to shed light on this major global issue and never give up on our unified fight against the tragedy. Here is a list of a few (modern) news/movies/books/organizations that you might be interested in about prostitution and human trafficking:

Trade – film (2007)
Gardens of the Night – film (2008)
Taken – film (2008)
Abolishion – organization
Boogie Nights – film (1997)
Memoirs of a Geisha – film (2005)
Eden – film (2012)
Good Reads – books
UNICEF – organization
Sonny – film (2002)
Mississippi 168 Child Trafficking Bust – news article (June 2014)

Do you have any thoughts about prostitution or human trafficking? Any personal experiences or encounters? Do Tell Nicola…

Funding Your Education – Scholarship Search Tips

So as you know from my initial blog, I recently decided to seek a change of pace and place, meaning I have decided that it is time for me to take a break from my current life (doing some traveling in the U.S. until I am able to save up for a broader traveling experience), do some exploring in a new place and figure out who I am and what I truly want to do with the rest of my life.

So first, I decided maybe I should go back to school. I have found that either having a good and intellectually stimulating job or being in school helps me to be disciplined and focused. It will allow for me to set a reasonable and achievable goal for myself, and it also opens up the doors to other possibilities.

Now, it is important to know how you intend to fund your new and profound choice of plans, so I suggest making at least a 1 year budget and STICKING TO IT the best you can. I thought, since I will definitely need money for plane tickets ($1500+), new wardrobe (about $1000 – as I limit my spending on clothes and focus my appetite on fine dining), personal expenses such as food and toiletries (about $200-300 monthly), and finding a new place of residence (about $300-600 monthly), I should apply for scholarships. Something I had never done too much of in the past because I was too lazy or proud to do it because I knew my parents would cover my undergraduate studies regardless if I received scholarships or not.

I know…Selfish huh? Maybe not… I think I was just being a teenager. I applied for about 2 scholarships in high school and received 1 for $1,000. It was surely not enough. I am still paying back school loans, in part because my wonderful and intelligent (this is not sarcastic whatsoever) mother put some of the loans under my name (as I’d imagine that many other parents have done for their children) and then told me about it after I graduated. Funny, huh? 😉 I guess the Karma got me back in that black comedy type of way. I respected what she did though. She took care of me and took the financial burden off of my shoulders so I could focus on a 4-year business degree. (Thank you Mamacita *Wink*)

So back to funding. Let me reiterate. If you decide to drop your current life and take a little trip. Make sure you have a plan. Make sure you set a goal for yourself and keep your eyes on that goal. And for me personally, school is a great goal as it can help challenge you intellectually and contribute to the advancement of your future.

Though I have applied for school loans to hold me off on having to come out of my pocket for school, I am aware that my school loan payments start back up 6 months after my program ends. So my plan is to apply for scholarships throughout the entire duration of my education in hopes of not having to pay a dime towards my Masters degree. And who knows…if I do well enough, I may be able to make a few extra thousand to apply to my other expenses.

But also remember. Do not count on receiving these scholarships as NONE of them are guaranteed. Sometimes scholarship winners aren’t announced until 3-6 months from the deadline date. Make sure that you have at least $2-4,000 to change up your pace and place, $1-5,000 to cover your meals and expenses over the next 3-12 months of travel, and then also have at least $500-1500 for savings and emergencies. And also, securing a job or source of income before you make the change is an even smarter and responsible decision. I know this seems like a lot, but this $3500-10,500 budget is mostly for those who suffer from financial insecurities, such as not having a definite source of income or having to worry about housing on their own. And also, this is about how much it really costs depending on the place of travel and duration of stay…

So, here we go…You ready?

1) I started first with my home institution. Visit your financial aid office and see what internal scholarships they offer, and also what scholarships they are aware of being offered by external institutions/organizations. I was fortunate enough to receive a renewable $3,000 scholarship based on my most recent G.P.A and choice of study.

2) Next, hit up places of familiarity, such as your church, or local (non-profit) organizations such as sports teams and clubs/chapters. Also consider putting on a fundraiser event where you sell scrumptious baked goodies and lemonade. Or throw a little shin-dig and invite everyone close to you and share a little bit of your plans and request a donation towards your education. The people closest to you are always a good bet because they know, love and support you. Don’t forget to send your “Thank You Cards”.

Quote: “Whoever has gratitude will be given more, and he or she will have an abundance. Whoever does not have gratitude, even what he or she has will be taken from him or her.” ~ Rhonda Byrne – The Magic (2012), courtesy of the Gospel of Matthew in the Holy Scriptures (The Magic – Amazon)

3) Now for the research. You will not get by easy. You will have to search your little tail off looking for scholarships that you qualify for. But don’t be too overwhelmed. Many scholarships don’t require an essay. You just have to submit a submission form and hope that your name gets drawn. Then there are a lot of scholarships that require essays. An upside to this is that most of these essays will ask the same thing, such as how will your education benefit your future plans or why do you deserve this scholarship. After a while you will see a trend and you will be able to copy and paste pieces of one essay onto the next. And then of course, you’d make sure everything meshes together by putting your finishing touches on it. So in addition to Google’ing ‘scholarships’, here are some sites where you can search for scholarships:























Inspirational Photos

200 Free Scholarships for Minorities-1

http://www.internqueen.com (good for internship opportunities)

4) Scholarship Tips:



I’ve applied for so many scholarships, and I know I am missing a lot. But feel free to post a comment and let us know any that you may be aware of. And I will also add more places to apply over time. Good Luck!!

ATENCIÓN: Por favor, utilice este enlace, Free Translation, para traducir mis posts. Una vez que usted visite el sitio traducción, se encuentra la “lengua” (con la imagen del mundo junto a él), en la parte superior derecha, para elegir el idioma que prefiera. Gracias.