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Couple with Maine ties open home for rescued girls in Peru

'Maria's Safe House' hopes to partner with churches and anti-trafficking organizations in Maine to help save more girls.

PORTLAND, Maine — The former Chaplain of the Portland Sea Dogs is working to provide a safe haven for young girls rescued from human trafficking in South America.

Bob McClure and his wife, Karin, founded a non-profit organization to house, educate, and provide medical care to girls between the ages of 12 and 14. 

Maria's Safe House opened recently in Oyotun, Peru -- a town of about 10-thousand people. It can house up to six girls, who will be referred by social services after their captors are arrested. The girls will be able to get their high school diploma and medical care in a secure environment. 

The couple says many children in Peru are sold to traffickers by their own families who are too poor to care for them. The children are often forced into prostitution. Even more concerning -- a number are murdered for their organs, including children who vanish from towns and villages in the region.

"About a week later, they found the kids in the gutter, their organs totally harvested. That's become a bigger part of human trafficking now. There is such a need for organs -- they will do anything to get them," said McClure. 

McClure is working with former Sea Dogs players, churches, and anti-trafficking organizations in Maine to raise money to expand Maria's Safe House to accommodate more girls. They also want to partner with medical providers to send medical staff to Peru in the future. 

A GoFundMe account has been set up to raise money for the non-profit organization. Donations can also be sent to DMF & Company, c/o Maria's Safe House, PO Box 6811, Scarborough, Maine 04070.

To learn more about Maria's Safe House, click here.

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