Sunday, 10 June 2012

Montly Hero

Woo whoo! (imagine me saying that with a solid fist pump in the air)
I am finally posting a Monthly Hero. 

The Monthly Hero section of the blog is designed to highlight either individuals or organizations who are making a positive difference in the world we live in. In my life I have met some truly inspirational people who dedicate their lives to the benefit of others. I am constantly inspired by all the amazing people out there who step out in believing change is possible. 

I want to share with others some of the inspirational people I have met and how we can be encouraged or even at times take part in their journeys...

So without any further a do... allow me to introduce you to my wonderful friend Gen. Gen took part in something called the Abolitionist Academy run by Not For Sale; "The purpose of the San Francisco Abolitionist Academy is to educate individuals about the global, national, state, and local problem of human trafficking and modern-day slavery". Gen is now an active abolitionist, read on to find out what she does and what we can do too.  

Who are you? 
I am a canadian who married an Australian while serving on the mission field. I have two children who are 3 and 1. I am a stay at home mom now and my passion is to see the slave trade end in my generation. I am A modern day abolitionist!

What did you do?
 I did a course with Not For Sale in the US, called the Abolitionist Academy it a week long course where we have experts in the field" provide up-to-date, thorough, and relevant information and also suggest practical and effective tools and strategies to combat modern-day slavery and to assist the survivors." (taken from the NFS web site)

When and where was it?
 It was in San Franscico but now they offer one in Sydney, Australia.

How has it changed you/your life?
I am more aware, I think I have more of a foundation. I got to hear stories from people who had been trafficked and others who work with them daily. I think it increased my passion for this issue as well as made me way more aware. There is human trafficking going on in areas I had no idea but through this course it helped me search it out so that I can make others aware. I also realized that it doesn't matter what you do or who you are , so you could be a doctor or a stay at home Mom, we are all called to help end this atrocity, we all have a part to play. We can all do something.

What would your advice be for those who are wanting to make a difference in the area of human trafficking but have no idea where or how to start?
 I would say and this is what I tell everyone because an abolitionist by the name of David Batstone told me, is pick one area and go for it. What I mean by that, is that there are so many areas of human trafficking, it just isn't black or white. There are five man types of trafficking, a)sex  labour C) debt bondage D) child labour e) human body parts. So which area do you want to stop first. If you try and tackle the whole thing it looks big and scary so you have to go with one area. Within these main groups there are sub groups to that it can be broken down further into. My husband and I have decided that we are not going to buy chocolate that is not fair trade. That we are going to make people aware of the trafficking that happens in the Cocoa industry. Has Nestle or Hersey felt the effects of this?, no probably not yet, but as I tell more and more people they will. And the more of us that do will mean they are going to have to change their practices. So you might not be a huge chocolate eater, so do coffee or tea, or clothing. Check out how your clothing rates at the Free 2 work website. Start with something that you can easily do and then when you have that add more. So now we are only buying fair trade teas too.

Thanks Gen. Like she said, awareness is key, and even just by making informed choices as to where and how our food and clothing products make it to us will make an impact. 
Here is a link to some of the websites that Gen referred to:

Not For Sale Campaign, who runs the course she took. 
Abolitionist Academy, which is information about the course and where it is being held
Free2Work, which is a website which helps you make informed choices about where and how your products clothing are being sourced.

This month I will be highlighting other ways we can make a difference in ending Human Trafficking. So stay tuned for more inspiring opportunities.

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