Joana Garcia, a senior majoring in international studies, and Autumn Moberg, a senior studying art, are the two founders of the nonprofit Saving Mothers, Saving Earth, formerly known as Henna Helps.
The purpose of their nonprofit is to help raise awareness and money for women and children who have been victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
It all started when Garcia did her internship in Nepal, with Help International, where she worked with the nonprofit organization Raksha Nepal.
On May 13, Garcia and Moberg launched their blog Saving Mothers, Saving Earth. The blog contains information about their organization, and Garcia’s experience in Nepal.
With this blog, they hope the cause can reach further than Rexburg and last longer than just their time here at BYU-Idaho.
Garcia mainly worked in a safe house for children who were rescued from human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Garcia said Menuka Thapa, the founder of Raksha Nepal, told all the interns why those children were there and shared many stories. Thapa asked they never forget what she had told them. At that point, it became real for Garcia.
“We are just two students who love Raksha Nepal, and people are always saying ‘wow you are so great for doing this’ which is nice, but if only Thapa was here to hear that,” Garcia said.
Garcia said she fell in love with the women and children at the safe house. She wanted to do something to help.
“I did henna one night in preparation for a celebration we were going do with them,” Garcia said. “The idea came to me to buy henna tubes and do henna for $5 at BYU-I. Our goal was to raise $500 dollars last semester. We raised $1,225.”
Saving Mothers, Saving Earth sends all proceeds to Raksha Nepal, founded by Thapa. Their mission is the same as Saving Mothers, Saving Earth.
That money has gone towards helping the 624 women and 475 children Raksha Nepal has been able to rescue.
“She (Garcia) called me from Nepal and told me about it; we started last semester and we didn’t think it would be as big as it is now,” Moberg said.
The safe house for children in Nepal has two types of children. The first are children of women forced into sexual slavery. Raksha Nepal takes care of the children while Thapa and the staff help these mothers get out of their situation and get on their feet. These children can stay as long as they need to.
The second type, are children who are victims of being abandoned or are victims of sexual exploitation or violence.
“The ages we see are around 6-18, but the last girl that was rescued in the last 3 weeks is 5 1/2 years old,” Garcia said.
Now with their blog up and more people aware every day, they hope more people will be able to talk about this subject and do something to help.
“Our motive is love, and our mission is change,” Garcia said.