Kelly Galloway is on a mission.
In Guatemala, she opened a safe house for victims of sex trafficking.
In Nepal, she ran medical camps after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake killed almost 9,000 people in 2015.
In remote villages in South India – where many people have never even heard of the United States – she started a seed program that provided enough food for families for a month. Then she gave them seeds and gardening supplies so they can plant their own gardens.
Galloway has traveled the world helping others help themselves through RAMP Global Missions, a Christian humanitarian organization based in Lynchburg, Va., that she founded five years ago and oversees as president. The organization operates programs in Lynchburg, India, Brazil, Guatemala and Nepal. RAMP has two paid employees, including Galloway, who makes about $200 a month and spends most of the year overseas.
But the young missionary – who grew up worshiping with her family at St. John Baptist Church on Goodell Street – also hasn’t forgotten her roots.
After establishing safe houses to help women escape sex traffickers in South Asia and Central America, Galloway is opening one in Buffalo, too.
Human trafficking is a problem in the Buffalo area, she says, because of the city’s proximity to an international border, a growing refugee population, drug abuse and addicts, runaway and foster children, and high poverty.
Galloway herself was nearly abducted about two years ago. It happened near a coffee shop in Nepal, where two men approached her while she was on her way back to the hostel where she was staying. They both seemed really nice and invited her to come out with them to a nightclub where they would show her a good time.
She declined, but the men persisted. Galloway escaped by ducking into a stairwell and running back to the coffee house to call the hostel for help.
Six Nepali workers from the hostel came to the coffee shop and escorted her back. They told her the men were sex traffickers.
After that close call, Galloway decided to spread awareness about sex trafficking while helping survivors reclaim their lives.
Story topics: Outstanding Citizens