There are many amazing organisations supporting many worthy causes in this world. So why did I choose to support Project Futures fight against human trafficking?
Towards the end of 2014 I had the honour of speaking at The Next Generation Youth Forum where I met the events Key Note speaker Stephanie Lorenzo. Steph shared her story about how after reading Somaly Mam’s biography, a story of a Cambodian women sold into the sex trade as a child, she was inspired and determined to create a movement to help facilitate the end of global human trafficking and slavery. Project Futures was born from Steph’s inspiration and what started off as small fundraising events with the aim to empower young professionals to make a difference, has evolved into an incredibly innovative and fun way to combat such an enormous issue. Through the social enterprise model of Project Futures they can guarantee that 100% of donations go directly towards the cause.
Steph’s presentation inspired me to look more into the issue of human trafficking, I was lead to discover some truly heartbreaking facts about the world we live in
- 2 MILLION Children are sold into the sex trade every year.
- Human trafficking is the 3rd largest crime industry in the world!
- An estimated $32 BILLION is generated in this industry EVERY. YEAR
- There are almost 30 million people enslaved in our world right now.
I understand how for some people this issue is too confronting the face, it made me think about how blessed I was to be born under the circumstances I was, how I was always safe. How could someone sell their 10 year old daughter to a brothel? Why do people think it is ok to use and abuse our society’s most vulnerable for profit? It literally brought me to tears thinking about the millions and millions of children who would most likely never have the opportunity to know their worth or discover their unique gift to share with the world.
I knew I had to do something, so I signed up for one of Project Future’s international challenges – Hike Japan 2016. It may have taken me a few years with the prior year’s international challenges coinciding with my CPA exams but the first thing I did after I sat my last exam was sign up to this trip. Each participant for Hike Japan has signed up to an adventure with purpose, we have each committed to raising at least $2000 to go directly to AFESIP Cambodia, who run centres that support women and children who have either been forced into the sex industry, abused, raped or at risk of being exploited.
While raising these funds we also raise awareness, once you gain new knowledge you can’t un-know what you now know. Knowledge is power and what you do with that new power is your choice.
For me this adventure isn’t about just giving funds to a charity, it is about justice. There are millions of people in this world whose fundamental human rights are being violated on a daily basis. This is not ok. It has to change.
Last weekend I held a High Tea Fundraiser and feel very grateful to everyone that came to the event and let me share information about human trafficking with them, sending so much love to all the local businesses who donated their products for the raffles and prizes. It was a great afternoon that raised over $900! This amount may not seem like much relative to the $32billion industry of human trafficking but just $50 can feed a child in Cambodia for a whole month. This $900 could feed a child and keep them safe for over a year and in that time they become educated and empowered on how to move forward with their life. It sounds cliché but if all of this helps just 1 child break free from the cycle of abuse and find their worth, it will all be more than worth it.
It just takes 1 person to step up to create a beautiful ripple effect that can change the world. Somaly inspired Steph, Steph inspire me, I hope I have done the same and inspired someone to take action and fight to make some else’s life better.
Sending you love