“Rapha House exists to love, rescue, and heal children who have been rescued from trafficking and sexual exploitation.” This is the mission statement for Rapha House, a nonprofit organization that rescues and rehabilitates children from human trafficking and sexual exploitation in south East Asia, primarily Cambodia. The quote can be found on their website, along with a logo consisting of the company’s name lying over an intentionally placed red daisy. Photos of children who have been rescued along with their quotes and testimonies are also presented to the audience through a slideshow on their homepage. The organization appeals to the audience’s sympathy through pathos by utilizing purposeful imagery, logo, and color in hopes of calling the viewer to action.
The webpage is designed to initially draw the viewer’s attention towards a slideshow streaming photos. The Rapha House website designers have selected photographs that extract feelings of sympathy and compassion among the audience. Most of the images are of children and young women who have been rescued from trafficking or exploitation and are now in the care of Rapha House. One significantly appealing image is of a man that appears to be in his late twenties giving a young girl a piggy back ride. They are smiling, laughing, and seem to have a close bond with one another. The word “heroes” is printed across the image with a link below challenging the viewer to “become a hero today.” The image of this young girl, and any image found on the page are used to put a face to this cause and to make it a real concrete issue for the audience. Physically seeing the image of young girl who has been rescued from human trafficking is significantly more effective in appealing to a person’s sympathy and compassion, than reading an article about that child would be. Utilizing the child and the young man playing together with the word “Heroes” in large font across the image also appeals to the audiences desire to help those who have been a victim of injustice. The striking image insinuates that the young man is a hero to this child by supporting Rapha House both financially and through volunteer work. The young man has made a difference in this child’s life and future. This persuades the audience to believe that when they donate financially to this Rapha House, they will become a hero to a child as well and make a difference in their life.
The webpage appeals to the viewer’s sympathies not only through images and diction, but also through the organizations logo. The Rapha House logo is composed of the three purposeful words, “Love, Rescue, Heal.” in white letters with a strategically placed large red daisy behind them. The letters appear to be tattered and rough around the edges, much like the young girls that this organization comes in contact with. The effectiveness of the logos appeal to the audience is due to the word choice and word placement. The critical word in the trio is love. It is human nature to yearn for the love of others and, reciprocally, to give love. Placing the word love before “rescue, heal” helps the audience to consequentially associate the act of loving and giving love with providing the means to rescue these children from trafficking and sexual exploitation. This is all done in hopes that they may be healed in rehabilitation and reintroduced into society as a new and self-reliant individual. The audience is then left to come to their own conclusion about the best way to express love. In this situation it is by giving financially to Rapha House. This tactic can even be compared to the “either or” emotional appeal that gives the audience a choice to either do something or suffer the consequences.
Behind the “Love, Rescue, Heal” logo is a large red