Gina Guddatt with Seattle skyline

HUMANITARIAN WORK

Giving Back Time, Treasure and Talent

Gina utilizes her background as a Licensed Mental Health Therapist and Physical Fitness Expert to encourage and support individuals, groups and service organizations in the U.S. and developing countries. Her goal is to help people live fuller, healthier lives and to assist organizations to better address the needs of local women, children, and families in their own communities.

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Directed by Gina Guddat
Produced by Josué Blanco
Music: "Whisper" - Ryan Graves
©2010 - ASCAP Used with Permission

AFRICA

This powerful trip to Kenya opened my eyes to the real issues of poverty, HIV and AIDS. I spent several days in the Kibera slums helping at a free dental clinic, working with families and conducting workshops for women who want to start their own businesses. I was able to volunteer some time helping in several different orphanages, but it’s always so difficult to leave those precious babies. I was surprised to get a last minute invite to address their government’s Women’s Parliament. They were writing their first law that will protect women and children from domestic violence and sex trafficking. As a Maasai Chief told me the last day I was there, “positive change is coming”.

logo-youtubeWatch the video - "Run Away Baby"

hw-africa1 Kenya baby orphanage
hw-africa1 After school in Nairobi at the orphanage
hw-africa1 Children in the Kibera Slums

INDIA

This trip changed my life more than any other. Kolkata is home to the largest red light district in the world. I spent many dangerous days learning the system of traffickers, brokers, money changers and madams. Watching the ways that girls are bought and sold was heart breaking. I got to know the caste system and visited the lowest class children in the schools, shelters and orphanages, providing programs and counseling. One of the most rewarding parts was conducting female reproductive workshops for the sex workers on the street and handing out over 650 pairs of women’s panties. Lastly I trained staff from a dozen different facilities so they might be able to better serve those who have experience extreme trauma.

logo-youtubeWatch the video - "What I learned so far in India"

hw-africa1 Distributing girls panties in Kolkata at the Girls Rescue Shelter
hw-africa1 Working at the Girls Home in India
hw-africa1 Female Reproductive Workshop I did for Sex Workers in India

HUNGARY

I was invited to present at a retreat for girls in Budapest who had been rescued from human trafficking. I spent nearly a week in their shelter providing counseling and teaching self-esteem, goal setting, positive body image and fitness. Even though these girls don’t have their biological families anymore, they have formed a new family of their own together. They have such big hearts and hopes for their futures.

hw-africa1 Working with the Roma (Gypsie girls)
hw-africa1 Bonding with the Girls at the Shelter
hw-africa1 Conducting a Health & Fitness Retreat in Budapest

KYRGYZSTAN

I was invited to present at the first women’s conference to address sex trafficking in the “Stans”. This event drew female leaders from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Along with hearing numerous stories of unthinkable crimes like bride napping, and girls being married off at age nine I also participated in strategic talks about how to stop this travesty against women and girls in that region. I providing many hours of individual counseling and taught workshops on women’s health and fitness. My favorite part was teaching a kick-boxing class to ladies who had never before done any exercise.

logo-youtubeWatch the video - "Yurts"

hw-africa1 Presenting at the first anti-trafficking conference in the "Stans"
hw-africa1 Teaching fitness to the ladies
hw-africa1 Training up new Counselors & Social workers

NICARAGUA

This glorious part of the world is still home to drug lords and sex traffickers alike. As in other places, the disparity between wealth and poverty is great. I was encouraged by visiting many programs that are successfully providing services to the sex workers, the orphans and the disabled. My favorite part was spending time doing physical therapy and fitness with the differently abled children in Managua.

logo-youtubeWatch the video - "Nicaragua Children's Home"

hw-africa1 The sweet children born to the Sex workers
hw-africa1 Working at the disabled children's orphanage. This little girl is actually 3 years old and only weighs 4 pounds!
hw-africa1 Working with the teenage girls rescued from the sex industry

MEXICO

I have made many trips into Mexico helping with the existing programs that are serving underprivileged children. I’ve worked at community centers, clinics and numerous orphanages providing counseling to the kids and training to the staff. The people’s positive nature always impresses me, especially those living up on the Dump. It’s been a joy to go back year after year and see these little ones grow up.

logo-youtubeWatch the video - "Edge of Paradise Show - Episode #5"

hw-africa1 Working at the local orphanages in Puerto Vallarta
hw-africa1 Counseling and teaching the kids at the children's home
hw-africa1 Teaching fitness at the community center for kids

VIETNAM & CAMBODIA

It was an honor to spend time with the Vietnamese government’s Women’s Union discussing their model for a health and wellness center that would be their country’s first facility to serve victims of domestic violence. We designed an anti-trafficking awareness campaign and I trained and equipped leaders to serve as counselors to work with the survivors. I presented at a large Convent for girls who were training to serve women in the villages and I volunteered at a community hospital. Lastly, I ventured into the “Heart of Darkness”- the red light district in Cambodia, to help with the rescue efforts of underage sex workers. The industry of “sex travel” is unfortunately alive and well as I saw male visitor from all different countries.

logo-youtubeWatch the video - "Sponsor a Girl from Vietnam"

logo-youtubeWatch the video - "The Kingdom of Cambodia"

hw-africa1 Handing out herbal medicines to the sick in Vietnam
hw-africa1 Spending time and feeding the homeless street kids
hw-africa1 Helping out with the babies in Hanoi

NEPAL

The home of Mt. Everest and the beautiful Himalayan Mountains, Nepal showed me what human strength is. Plagued with a devastating earthquake in Kathmandu, these women never stopped believing in a future. I was asked to help at a sewing school for girls who wanted to create a way to provide for themselves. They showed perseverance amidst great challenge. I also took to the streets of the city and spent a day with the “street children” who have found a way to survive. I could not help going out and buying them all soap, shampoo, and toothbrushes. They told me food was more important than cleanliness…so I also bought them a meal ☺ The 2nd part of my trip was spent training staff at a rescue shelter and working with the 50 children there who had escaped the circus. When we think about trafficking, we forget that along with the sex trade, kids are also sold into forced labor and servitude.

logo-youtubeWatch the video - "Pollution in the River"

hw-africa1 Home visits with the village mountain women
hw-africa1 Making friends with the kids on the streets of Kathmandu
hw-africa1 Working with the girls who escaped the sex trade and are now in the sewing school.