Buffalo native opening shelter for human trafficking victims

Posted at 11:18 PM, Apr 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-07 23:18:03-04

You could call Buffalo native Kelly Galloway a citizen of the world. Flying anywhere from India, Guatemala, Nepal - not on vacation, but to help those in need.

"I want to advocate and I want to speak, I want to work," said 31-year-old Galloway. "I want to be a modern day Harriet Tubman!"

But it was during a trip to Nepal, just one year ago, where she nearly became a human trafficking victim. This, after she says two men forced her to go out with them.

"The shorter gentleman began to yell at me like 'you're coming with us, you're coming with us'," she recalled.

So she ran and called her hostel for help.

"I was like 'what is that, what was happening?' They said those are the men that sell women, so they took me back to the hostel and said 'you know, if you had ever gone with them, you may have never seen your family again'," said Galloway.

According to DoSomething.org there are 20 to 30 million human trafficking victims in the world. Kelly was close to becoming part of that statistic.

"I began to weep because that could've been someone else that would've easily gone," said Galloway.

So she decided to create shelters to help women who went through those situations. Her humanitarian organization, RAMP Global Missions, already has shelters in India, Nepal, and Guatemala, but now they're bringing one to Buffalo, which Kelly says is necessary.

"Buffalo has a border, has a lot of refugees, and it has a drug problem," said Galloway.

Kelly says the shelter, named Mona's House, will house ten women for 12 months, free of charge.

"These individuals may have gone through some levels of PTSD and now they suffer from some anxiety or trauma, so they need the holistic healing approach," she said.

Kelly says the recovery home is running fully on donations. She adds that Mona's House will open in less than a year, in January 2018.