Day of Change:Shedding a Light on Child Trafficking April 25- April 26.
This event was a big part of my life this week and it was amazing once everything came together. Since the beginning of freshman year I constantly informed everyone around me how I’m going to have a club on campus that helps combat Human Trafficking. Life got in the way and that never happened. I combated human trafficking on my own. But this past wednesday and thursday I had the opportunity to involve my school in supporting the Somaly Mam foundation and it really turned out well.
The first day Wednesday (April 25) we started off with a demonstration in the cafeteria and great plains. Everyone stood around dining commons in different spot and read this script::
Following this demonstration we went back to our tables and gave out flyers and pamphlets to people. Downstairs we had a bake-sale going on. All proceeds received from the bake sale goes to the Somaly Mam foundation. The poster you see at the top represents a little girl stuck between two realities. One she created in her mind that enables her to see the colors of the world. To see the beauty in the world. A place where she is free. The other tree that she is chained to had pictures of missing children all over the tree and facts at the bottom. The little girl in the picture is currently a missing child who is being exploited and can’t seem to escape her reality no matter how hard she tries.
All my volunteers are wearing t-shirts that say every 30 seconds a child is trafficked. On the back of the t-shirts it states : WCC students against Child Trafficking. Love Inform Empower…. The Somaly Mam foundation.
The second day (Thursday April 26) was the second day of the awareness campaign. We repeated the bake sale and then at 8pm that night we had a Movie screening of Gardens of the Night in Talbott 1. The movie:
An 8-year-old girl is taken from her home and convinced that her family does not want her anymore. After enduring years of horror, she and her fellow victim are dumped by their captures. Now, 17 years old and no one to turn to, except each other they do their best to survive life on the streets, until one day she finally accepts the help of a shelter counselor to find her way home. However, what she truly finds is the love of her life and that you can never go back. “Gardens of the Night”, is a haunting, gritty and topical story which delves deep into the world of child abduction and where it often leads…for the “lucky ones.” The writer/director, Damian Harris bases his story on the kids, counselors, cops and pimps he met during two years of research.
This movie addressing child trafficking, child abuse, and kidnapping all of which happen daily in America. After the movie we had a short discussion to address anyones questions or comments. A lot of people wanted to find out ways in which they can do more. Just by being in that room was doing more because you were enabling yourself to become informed about something people just choose to ignore.
I told them about the many different organizations around the United States and in different countries that they can always help and support. Overall the event turned out well and people learned something new about Child trafficking and ways in which they can help stop it.
As a sex abuse survivor I need my voice to be heard. I need people to understand and listen to the things that are going on around them and not just ignore them. Rather find ways to address them and help the people around them. You never know what someone is going through.
We raised $86.84 over the two day event. All Proceeds go to Somaly Mam Foundation.
Somaly is a anti-slavery activist and survivor fighting for victims all over the world. She is pictured with me in the bottom right hand corner. Love