Local woman bikes 250 miles for human trafficking awareness

Rebekah Kastelin of North Tonawanda packs up her bike to prepare for her 250 mile journey.

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB)- A woman from North Tonawanda is taking her passion for a global cause to the pavement, in hopes of raising awareness for a crippling problem: human trafficking.

According to the United Nations, 20 percent of human trafficking victims are children and almost 80 percent are sexually exploited in the process.

Rebekah Kastelin wants to bring local eyes to this international and domestic crisis.

She’s biking her way through Western New York; 250 miles in four days.

Kastelin is starting off at her home in North Tonawanda, and making a stop in Le Roy before finishing her journey in Waterloo, and then heading back home.

She’ll be camping along the way, and spreading a message: it’s all of our responsibilities to call attention to this problem.

Kastelin got involved in an organization that works on the ground in Cambodia. Southeast Asia is a region where trafficking is especially prevalent.

This, Kastelin told News 4, is her small way of helping out.

“I mean I’m not on the ground in Cambodia so I can’t do the physical work that way. But I just, you know, thought what can I do to raise awareness, to raise support? So I just organized this, I wanted there to be event behind it. I just thought you know, that twas something that I can do.”

Kastelin left North Tonawanda Sunday, Aug. 7 and will return Wednesday, Aug. 10.

She’s asking for donations; the money goes to the organization she’s working with, called Ratanak.

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