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Extreme Love Ministries

Imagine that at the tender age of 4, you have lost both your parents to deep poverty and your sole caretaker – your grandmother – is offering you to a man you don’t know. This is a common story of how girls in slum communities, streets and dumpsites are targeted by brokers, sold into prostitution, and become victims of human trafficking. 

Years before Extreme Love Ministry was founded, Andrea saw the extreme fear and terror in the face of this 4-year-old girl. It was one too many and I can only imagine. It became her call to dedicate the next 12 years of her life doing all that she can to prevent more girls from losing their future to human trafficking. 

“Extreme Love Ministry works in prevention of trafficking, rescue and restorative care of girls and women in the poorest area in Cambodia. They are often pushed to desperate measures due to lack of education and job opportunities,” Andrea explains. Falling through the cracks when the Khmer Rouge was in power, many barely survived on collecting garbage. Andrea boldly declared, “Our desire is to break this cycle of poverty.”

With a team of 35 people, Extreme Love Ministry runs a training facility for sowing creative leather products that provide the women artisans with gainful employment and a dignified life. They provide day care for kids under 5 year old, education for children and youth, and a safe space of care for high trauma cases including long-term medical counseling. Many of the children and women were directly rescued when the team intercepted the traffickers while enroute. They work closely with the Cambodian government and police, assisting in investigation.

“Sounds like a huge project with a big team. What is your personal role?” I asked. While still working on the ground, Andrea is now taking on a more advisory role and ensuring the financial accountability of Extreme Love Ministry. “More is needed to finance our capacity to care. We need new rescuers, new team members because we have more people to care for. Even though it sounds like a big team, there are far more needs than our team can handle. We want to serve as many as we can… But we focus on helping the one in front of us,” Andrea reflected. 

As I listened to Andrea’s reflection, it is clear that out of all the different interventions, the most crucial work is prevention: “It’s important that poor communities receive education about trafficking. They must be informed about the truth when they are offering work that is too good to be true.” 

Role of education goes much further, changing the entire system and turning the whole story around. “When women can graduate high school, they are skilled and can have employment, can care their kids by themselves. They stand on their own and walk in their destiny independent of the organisation,” Andrea continued. With this belief, Extreme Love Ministry has sponsored the education of many young women even up to university level. They are now leading flourishing lives as accountants, doctors, police officers. I was moved when Andrea said, “Their family will never have to go through what they did.”

Returning to the original inspiration for its name while looking passionately to build a bright future for the poorest in Cambodia, Andrea is convinced that only extreme love can overcome the extreme terror on the girl’s face so clearly imprinted in her memory. “Love is the only thing that can change, the only real way to see transformation.” With this love, she concluded, “When you purchase from Extreme Love Ministry, a product sold is a vehicle to transform lives.”