DETROIT, Michigan — Matt Boyd of the Detroit Tigers has partnered with his wife Ashley in a mission to end sex slavery in Uganda. The monumental task has proven to be laborious yet rewarding. Now the world can watch as the pitcher essentially adopts 36 Ugandan girls.
Uganda has one of the most rapidly growing populations in the world, with an average birth rate of 5.8 children per woman. This in part stems from the large issue of gender inequality in the country. Women on average are less educated, have higher unemployment rates and are not granted much sovereignty over decisions related to childbearing. Women bear the weight of many socioeconomic and human rights problems with human trafficking being one of the most devastating.
The Harsh Reality of Sex Trafficking
Uganda is considered by the U.S. Department of State to be a source, transit and destination country for those subject to forced labor and sex trafficking. Commonly, young girls between the ages of 13 and 24 are recruited for domestic sex trafficking, but more and more cases of international sex trafficking are being reported.
Shockingly, there have been increasing accounts of women tricking each other into joining the sex trade. By posing as holders of well-paying jobs, these women living abroad encourage others to make the move as well. In reality, they themselves have been forced into becoming sex escorts, only discovering the truth when it was too late. Women already trapped by this scheme are rewarded for every individual that they then successfully “recruit.” Therefore, the vicious cycle continues.
Young girls are vulnerable in other ways since many are forced or sold into marriages at a young age. Often the girls end up running away to join brothels to earn a living and escape from unsuccessful marriages. Many contract sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. The infections usually kill them as the girls often cannot afford healthcare or treatment. Futures are also being stolen from young women because they typically do not receive an education and, therefore, cannot financially support themselves with a steady job. Matt and Ashley Boyd refuse to accept this reality.
Detroit Tigers Pitcher Adopts 36 Ugandan Girls
According to The Detroit Free Press, when the Boyds first heard about Dorothy Stella Alue, a Ugandan woman sheltering and caring for 36 Ugandan girls, she had just fallen into financial woes after her husband’s death. She could no longer afford to feed, clothe and house the girls after losing her home and the financial resources she once had. Out of desperation, she was considering abandoning them. Reaching out for help, she connected with Matt and Ashley, who had long been searching for some way to give back to those in need.
The Boyds felt a calling to Dorothy’s story and eventually decided to help by founding a non-profit called Kingdom Home. This non-profit was the solution to supporting Dorothy in her mission of providing for the 36 girls. In the process, Matt and his wife have grown to love the girls they are funding. They are in constant contact with them, exchanging updates regularly and worrying about each girl as if she were their own. The Boyds not only guarantee that they have a safe place to live and food to eat but they also ensure that the girls will be prepared for a successful life.
Each girl is assigned household chores and tasks, and by contributing to the successful functioning of the household, they are encouraged to practice life skills like self-discipline and responsibility. Matt and Ashley will also implement a vocational training program and pay for each girl to attend university. In doing so, they believe they can end sex slavery through prevention.
These young women will be equipped with the skills they need for a stable and successful future where they will be empowered to use their brains and not their bodies. So far, as the Detroit pitcher essentially adopts 36 Ugandan girls, it seems that his mission to end sex slavery is a home run.
– Natalie Marie Abdou