Ricky Martin's Work With Orphans
When Ricky decided to put his music career on hold, he made an effort "to go back to the beginning....I needed to be a child again," he says. "Life became too serious all of a sudden. It was all about a competition, about becoming the best and being the best, and that's not what life is all about."
Ricky headed to Calcutta, India, where his friend had started an orphanage. "I went and I had the opportunity to literally rescue three girls from the streets," Ricky says. "We started this project with one girl. Today we have 167 girls that we've been able to rescue from the streets." The difference is amazing: "They are studying. They're going to school. They're learning music. They're learning to become women."
But Ricky's mission didn't stop there. "I asked myself, 'What would have happened to these girls if institutions like this didn't exist?' That's when I found out about child trafficking," he says.
Ricky explains that, in fact, this worldwide $7 billion a year industry exists to "force children into prostitution, force children into pornography....They take advantage of the vulnerability of society to go on with their business. They sell the children for illegal adoption or for child molesters; for pedophiles."