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We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
11 January 2016
The purpose of the awareness month is to bring focus to the plight of millions of people around the globe who are not free.
Nothing, and I mean nothing, breaks my heart more than the buying and selling of human beings.
It takes many forms:
Entire families in India trapped in a system of indentured servitude they can never earn enough to get out of
The undisguised sale of young girls in Cambodia who will be transported to brothels where they will remain prisoners for the rest of their lives
The system of kamlari in Nepal that sends girls as young as 5 years old to work as household maids, while the family collects the small salary
The psychological entrapment and exploitation of troubled teenage runaways in every city in America....
Like worldwide poverty, this is a problem so vast and overwhelming it is tempting to just not look, to refuse to see what is happening.
Human trafficking is second only to the international drug trade as the largest illegal business in the world.
So, what can we do? Being horrified is a start and a great motivator but it changes nothing without action.
There are many options that are not open to us, but there are also many that are.
There are governments and large global organizations focused on this issue.
There are also many grassroots organizations working to change lives and support victims one at a time.
While in Cambodia we met many rescued young women who were learning to run a boutique, a restaurant, a hotel and a spa through an organization called Daughters of Cambodia.
You can read more about this amazing, in the trenches, hands on, organization
Since we founded Buy The Change in 2011,we have been following the work of the International Justice Mission. They rescue and support enslaved people all over the world.
You can read more about and support the work of IJM
The Soroptimist Club is a worldwide women's service organization focused on bettering the lives of women and girls. They have bravely addressed the issue of trafficking in America.
You can read more about Soroptimists
. There may be a club that meets near you.
We are often asked if Buy The Change works with the victims of human trafficking.
The answer is YES!
In two ways:
We have partnered with several amazing, on the ground organizations around the world.
We prevent trafficking by helping women have enough income to keep all of their children safely at home and in school.
Our main objective is to help our independent artisan partners, and our on the ground organizations partners, find a wider market for their handmade products.
This creates the income and funding that makes hands on change possible.
Many of our
pieces are handmade by young women in Asia who have previously been forced to work in the commercial sex/escort industry and are now working with
The Starfish Project.
are made by women in Kolkata who have spent their lives in the red light district but have grown older and are now working with
Every handmade product we sell empowers a woman, which empowers a family which fosters the process of change.
Be Outraged, Be Horrified, Be Overwhelmed, Be In Denial,
Then Do Something!