Step One, you say we need to talk…
A month ago, on the fourth of July, I wrote a post about what I consider to the most problematic social event of our time; the trafficking of human beings.
It was a post written out of passion and concern and the desperate desire to do something, even if all I could do was to raise awareness.
A post about truth.
Thankfully, all the people who read that post caught my vision and many of you were compelled yourself to make a difference in the lives of these human slaves; the only problem is, there’s one practical thing holding us all back.
With 27 million people in slavery, and 30 children being exploited every hour, how on earth can we make a difference?
It’s been a question that’s been haunting me, because as far as I’m concerned, it’s not just enough to talk about it; it’s not just enough to raise awareness. Once you know something like this, you cannot go back, and you shouldn’t want to.
A change needs to happen.
So how do we do that?
I’ve been thinking about this for a month, reading and wracking my brain trying to come up with ideas, and then, last weekend at a Mission’s Conference at Church one of the speakers said something that changed everything. When it comes to a problem; we naturally look at how big it is, and often become completely overwhelmed by it, so that we can become incapacitated. But the trick to solving a big problem is to start with one piece at a time; one part of the puzzle worked on, soon becomes a whole picture taking place.
It’s the same in the fight against human slavery; there is no possible way that we can save the 27 million in one go.
We can, however, save one.
And there is a huge amount of power in one.
Where did I go wrong?
I lost a friend,
Somewhere alone in the bitterness
And I would have stayed up with you all night,
Had I known how to save a life.
When we focus on the one, the whole thing becomes a lot more achievable, and we can see all the things we can possibly do that will have an impact; even if it is for only one slave. Freedom for that one person, has infinite value.
So I changed my tactic and looked at ways we could all change one life, and suddenly the possibilities opened up.
The American Himalayan Foundation is one group that works to keep young girls in school, dramatically reducing their risk of being trafficked. It only costs $100 a year to keep them safe.
Similarly the A21 Campaign invites people to partner with them to help keep their worldwide offices and rescue shelters open and running.
Sevenly is an organisation that raises awareness for different social causes every week. By purchasing their merchandise, you not only get a funky shirt but a generous portion of the sales goes toward that cause, as well as creating awareness.
I’m sure by googling, you can find many more.
Write a Letter
There is a huge amount of power in the written word, especially when it’s directed at the right people. We all have the ability to petition our heads of state to see the abolition of human slavery become a real possibility in our lifetime. Particularly in a time when our leaders are content to just let refugees be ignored and forgotten, this is something that has the power to make a difference, if we all jump on board.
Write to chain stores. Lately we have all been up in arms about the unsafe practices that abound in overseas sweat shop factories, but abandoning the major clothing stores over here is not necessarily the answer. In many cases this will lead to people losing their jobs and being forced into prostitution or selling their children. Instead the companies need to take responsibility and improve their working conditions, and we have a responsibility to nag them until they do.
Write to a victim. The A21 campaign has links available for you to write to a freed slave and offer even more hope to a person whose life is just beginning again.
Make Life Changes
I was more than a little disgusted to discover that I have 79 slaves working for me, so that I can enjoy the life that I do.
79 people, whose lives are made less so that mine can be made better. That’s not ok, and it means that changes need to be made.
Check out Slavery Footprint to see how many you have.
Stop watching porn. So many of the girls (and men) on those movies are being forced into degrading themselves on tape for the sexual pleasure of thousands. If there was no demand, there would be no need for supply.
Don’t Be Discouraged
Like I said, the numbers are big and frightening, but if we choose to not become overwhelmed by them, we have a real shot at being able to see the one or two or three or four that we all have the potential to influence.
There are so many opportunities available to us; so many ways we can be a help. All it takes is commitment, imagination and a determination that will not settle for this incredible injustice anymore.
We can all save a life.