Blackbox International is a Christ-centered, non-profit organization that exists to provide holistic aftercare for boys and young men who have survived sex trafficking. 

Over the past decade, we have provided aftercare for nearly 100 boys in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic sits on the island of Hispaniola, approximately 947 miles south of Florida in the Caribbean Sea. It is an incredibly beautiful country, operating as one of North America’s top tourist destinations. From beautiful white sand beaches to stunning blue ocean water, it is truly a tropical paradise, perfect for a beach vacation.  

Sadly, the beauty of the Dominican Republic is largely overshadowed by the immense brokenness wrapped up in the commercial sex industry. According to the 2022 Trafficking in Persons report produced by the US Department of State, “The Dominican Republic is a destination for sex tourists primarily from North America and Europe for child sex trafficking.” 

In 2022 alone, more than 8.5 million tourists visited the Dominican Republic, many for the distinct purpose of sex tourism. This creates a demand for the sex trafficking industry and, tragically, causes many children to suffer at the hands of people looking to make money at their grave expense. Blackbox is working to meet the need for trauma-focused rehabilitation services for boys who have come out of these types of situations. 

When Blackbox was founded in 2010, the intent was to create a reproducible model that could be taken to other areas of need throughout the world. Nearly 10 years after the first boy entered our care in the Dominican Republic, God has provided that opportunity. We are excited to be expanding our work across the Dominican border to Hispaniola’s other inhabitant: Haiti.

While they share an island, the country of Haiti is drastically different than the Dominican Republic. There is certainly geographical beauty and rich cultural heritage, but the country of Haiti suffers greatly from governmental and economic instability, gang violence, and a lack of infrastructure. These things create unstable power dynamics, which allows the sex trafficking industry to flourish, preying on the vulnerabilities that chronic instability has created. Children are often the ones to suffer due to a lack of basic resources and extreme poverty. 

So when Blackbox was invited by another anti-trafficking organization to join the efforts in Haiti, we began to seek God’s guidance. At a time when many were leaving Haiti due to the instability and chaos, we had to wrestle with the implications of trying to enter such a broken system. 

After much prayer and deliberation, God made it abundantly clear to our leadership team that Haiti was the next right move. So Blackbox began the tedious process of expanding our work to another location. Through God’s provision over the past few years, we have been able to purchase land, construct security walls, install utilities, and build the majority of the residential space on our property.

Because of funds that have been given by incredibly generous partners like you, we are wrapping up construction on the residential facility that will be able to house up to 16 boys at one time in the future. The finishing touches will soon be put on this space, and we’ll move on to the final phase of the project: The Haiti Care Center. 

We chose the name, “The Care Center,” because it will be where so much of our holistic aftercare process will take place. This building will have rooms dedicated to 1:1 counseling; specialized education; private, safe visitations with family and guardians; offices for our staff to file legal paperwork; a computer lab for the boys to learn technology skills; and training rooms so the staff is equipped to best serve the boys in our care. 

At Blackbox International, we are committed to providing high-quality care to the boys that come through our doors. Thank you for making those doors possible.

Post was written by Nick Vacca, Advocacy & Transitions Program Coordinator at Blackbox International pictured above with his wife, Sarah, who also serves with Blackbox International as Director of Client Services & Disabilities Specialist.

Blackbox International

Blackbox International is a faith-based, Christ-centered, not-for-profit organization that exists to holistically rehabilitate formerly sex-trafficked boys and young men. Blackbox provides the critical aftercare component for boys rescued from sex trafficking in order to help them find healing from their past, joy in the present, and purpose for their future. Blackbox is currently providing care for boys and young men in their safe-home in the Dominican Republic, but are learning from this first initiative and developing a model that can be reproduced globally.

learn more about Blackbox International by listening to a special release two-part episode from Christ’s Church Impact Podcast.

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