Doug and Donna Burkle of Cedar Rapids are selling their belongings and moving to Cambodia. The Burkles plan to work with Rapha House in Cambodia. It's a safe house for children rescued from human trafficking.
The Burkles found out about it from their daughter. She's the director of operations in Cambodia. Rapha House rehabilitates the children, teaches them a trade and counsels them.
"The counseling is a really important part because these girls will stay there for as long as needed to work through issues," said Donna Burkle.
Donna visited Rapha House for a month last year. The teacher knew she needed to go back. This will be Doug's first trip to Cambodia. Both are looking forward to working with some of the children with special needs, including two girls who are blind.
"We have some background knowledge in working with girls who are legally blind. One of our daughters is legally blind," said Donna Burkle.
The parents of five hope to teach the girls at Rapha House to be self sustaining by raising chickens for money and for meat. Doug also hopes to bring his dog, Henry, along to work with those with special needs. Henry is nearly finished with certification to be a therapy dog.
The Burkles plan to leave by the end of September. After a year, they'll decide if it's time to come home or stay in Cambodia longer. They said this trip is just one way they can help make the world a better place.
To learn more about the mission of Rapha House in the fight against human trafficking, click here.
You can also help raise money for Rapha House during a local event. The Rescue Run 5K Run/Walk is coming up on September 14th at 8 a.m. at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area in Iowa City. For more information, click here.