Edge of Faith March 2017 - Page 34

About Sarah

In the fight against Human Trafficking, there are some real heroes and heroines in the fight. As a young girl in Iran after the Islamic Revolution, Sara Safari experienced firsthand the oppressive, restrictive environment that enables the sex-trafficking trade to thrive. Late on in life she became a neophyte climber who had given up her new hobby when she found the challenges and physical rigors too difficult. She wondered why anyone would subject themselves to such danger and discomfort, just to be able to say they stood on top of the world. She needed an incentive far greater than mere personal achievement and eventually she found that motivation in the plight of the girls in Nepal. What she discovered is that their best defense against becoming trafficking victims was to simply go to school at a cost of US $175 per year. So Sara took on climbing mountains in earnest to raise money for Nepali Girls with the final goal to climb Mount Everest and plant the flag of her charitable organization.

In April of 2015 this 5’4,” 125 pound woman felt strong and ready for the arduous climb after having spent more than two years training and preparing for the adventure. At 20,000 feet, Sarah was climbing the last few meters of the infamous Khumbu Icefall, the most dangerous part of the ascent, when a devastating earthquake rocked the country. At this point in the climb Sara was on a 40 foot ice wall. The wall began to rock back and forth, back and forth while she hung on for dear life. Then huge pieces of ice the size of cars began to break off the mountain and began crashing around her. The noise was deafening. At this point Sara was convinced she was going to die and two thoughts went through her head. One was that she was very sad for her husband, her family and all those she would leave behind. The other was that hers had been a life worth living, a life that made a difference.

Sara miraculously survived the earthquake that killed more than 10,000 people, leaving more than 100,000 children without homes, and completely destroying the Base Camp. Unlike most of the climbers who attempt Everest for personal glory, this woman was risking her life in order to bring greater attention to the thousands of girls in Nepal who are trafficked into sex slavery or forced into early marriage. While grateful to have survived the earthquake, Sara was miffed that after so many hard years of training, she had not made her goal to reach the top of Everest and the media interest she felt that would have brought to her cause. However, God has a better plan for Sara. The fact that she had survived the earthquake brought even more attention to her cause than if she had reached the top of Everest and empowered her to raise even more money than she had originally planned.

Sara Safari continues to be an advocate for social justice around the world. She fights for women’s rights and has received the Global Citizenship Award for her outstanding work with Empower Nepali Girls. Her inspirational book about her life changing experience, spiritual redemption and a search for social justice is called "Follow My Footsteps". She is donating all the profits to "Empower Nepali Girls".