In February 1998, Dave Rogers, founder, visited friends living in Kathmandu, Nepal. This was Dave’s first time to Nepal and he was struck by the beauty of this country and the simplistic yet hard lifestyle and loving people residing there. On this trip he met Ramesh Sapkota, a Nepalese young man who would soon help change the course of Dave’s life. On Dave’s second visit to Nepal, Ramesh introduced Dave to a small organization that had been started by his mother to fight human sexual slavery. Here, Dave learned about human trafficking and personally met and heard emotional stories from girls rescued from brothels. These girls were provided a place to stay where they received counseling, medical services and learned a simple job skill – knitting hats, gloves & scarves. After agreeing upon a price, Dave began to purchase products, ship to the USA and market items under the name “Ransom Wear…freedom never felt so good!”. The purpose was to sell these handmade clothing items to raise awareness of human trafficking and to help fund the rescue and rehabilitation effort in Nepal. Donations to this cause were run through a small church Dave attended allowing gifts to be tax deductible.
In July 2007 Ransom Wear became an official program of Kingdom Investments International, a 501 c3 charitable organization based in Bend, Oregon. A website with ecommerce was set up and products were sold around the USA. When the Nepalese work prepared to closed their doors in December 2007 due to lack of income, Kingdom Investments International quickly made the commitment to provide funding to keep it running. The webstore coupled with speaking engagements provided funds needed to to expand Nepalese operations to include preventative education through literacy classes, drama teams and by working with community leaders.
In 2007, a border surveillance station was established and soon the second was opened. At these sites, many girls are rescued by staff before they can be taken into India and sold. Each case is documented with a picture of the girl rescued and her story. By the fall of 2009, these border surveillance stations were rescuing a documented average of 1,425 girls each month. In December 2009, the Nepalese work stepped away from our funding and today is a successful and self sustaining enterprise – completely operated by Nepalese citizens!
In March 2010, the decision was made to have our name “Ransom Wear” trademarked. When it was discovered that this name could not be approved, it became necessary to rename our work! “Operation Ransom” officially became the new name of our program in October 2010. Operation Ransom now focuses globally on the fight against human trafficking by creating (if needed) encouraging, partnering and investing in organizations committed to this fight! These investments currently include Nepal, India, and the USA.