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Local group fights to save girls from trafficking industry

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Joy Fopma wears a starfish necklace to remind her of a story. It’s about a boy who is throwing starfish into the ocean after a storm. A man stops to ask him why he’s doing it when there’s no way for him to save them all. The boy throws a starfish into the water and says, “It made a difference to that one.” That is Fopma’s mission. To make a difference, even for just one.

Fopma is a founder of Wings of Refuge, a group that grew three years ago from a movie and a prayer group. The documentary, “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls,” examined the international sex trafficking industry. Fopma saw the movie, and was gripped by the scope of human trafficking: the International Labour Organization estimates there are 4.5 million people trapped in forced sexual exploitation globally, and in the U.S., the underground sex economy is hundreds of millions of dollars. Girls – and boys – are forced or brainwashed into sex trafficking. In the U.S., they’re taken to dozens of states and sold 10 to 20 times a day.

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