‘The Voice’ Star Bryan Olesen’s Mission To Help End Human Trafficking With His Band VOTA

Bryan Olesen is a star on The Voice now, but he has also been the frontman for the Christian rock band VOTA since 2003. With the release of their album Love Found Me in 2013, the band launched their campaign of the same name to help end human trafficking in India and Nepal. In collaboration with Tiny Hands International, VOTA made the album free to download from their website, as long as fans first watched a video about child trafficking and learned more about the campaign.

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The band was passionate about the campaign, and around that time, Olesen spoke about it with a Christian television program in Toronto. Olesen started by talking about how the mission started for the band, and how they came to work with Tiny Hands International.

“We wanted to do something with our album [that was] a little bit different, something kind of crazy to raise awareness of the terrible tragedy that’s happening at the border between Nepal and India,” Olesen began. “Tiny Hands does a lot of work in Nepal, they’ve got orphanages, they’re fighting human trafficking there. There’s one particular tragedy that’s happening where traffickers are going into Nepal, targeting the poorest families there, and they’re kind of tricking those families [by] saying, ‘hey, we can find work for your children across the border into India.'”

He explained how the families raise money to send their children across the border, thinking they’re setting them up for a better life. However, “Once they get across the border, these girls, these young children are sold to brothels and most of them are never seen again,” Olesen explained.

[RELATED: ‘The Voice’ Star Bryan Olesen Stuns With “Perfect” Cover of Toto’s “Africa”]

Bryan Olesen and His Band VOTA Once Worked to End Human Trafficking Between Nepal and India

Bryan Olesen went on to explain that through the initiative, Tiny Hands International was setting up border monitoring and checkpoints in an attempt to catch human traffickers.

“There are 26 border points between Nepal and India,” Olesen said. “The government of Nepal has given Tiny Hands permission to put a border station at each one of these border points … We decided as a band that we wanted to support and staff five of these border stations for five years. There will be two to four border guards at each station, they’re trained to interrogate people coming in across the border … and right now they’re rescuing two to three hundred girls per border station.”

Olesen explained that the guards are “intercepting [children] before this tragedy happens,” preventing lives from being ruined and the children from being abused and manipulated. The band decided to do something worthwhile with their next album at the time, instead of recording and touring in an endless loop. Essentially, they gave the album away in order to bring attention and awareness to serious issues.

Featured Image by Casey Durkin/NBC

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