What can I DO?!

How can I help? Should I go back to school? Do I need experience? Should I just volunteer with an NGO? Is a business degree what I need? Should I study policy and bring change from the top? What is my piece? Ahhh! How many of you have felt this way when it comes to the topic of human trafficking? *Are you raising your hand? Cause I am.*

I was chatting with a new friend on Skype this morning, and she was asking these very questions. Filled with crazy, zooming thoughts, she threw her hands in the air asking, "What can I do??" Her deep passion to see people scathed by injustice find freedom is beautiful, wild, and fierce. She gets fire in her eyes as she talks about those whom she encounters everyday who have, themselves, been trafficked. It's incredibly beautiful to meet someone who is choosing to look and see. To acknowledge terrible things happening around her. And yet, still choose to jump in, to offer to be a piece in the great big puzzle that WILL see an end to human trafficking.

But the question remains, "What do I do?"

beautiful and beloved
beautiful and beloved

Just when I felt the absence of an answer to that question, I heard my own voice, challenging my incredible entrepreneurs all over the world. It is one of the very first things we teach them. "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." How simple!! These words that I have been spouting over and over again with each new country I visit, are the very answer I needed for my own reality, today.

We have been given the gift to live today. Only today. So what is our piece to offer, TODAY. That is all that has ever been asked of me. Not offering all the things that I think are necessary to fix a problem, but just my piece. It takes the mantle of "fixing" off my shoulders, and requires something much more simple. My piece. Today.

And when it comes to human trafficking, you will find there are a lot of pieces. Here are some of the main ones...so you can begin thinking about the role you are specifically designed to play. And I'll do you one better. I'll connect you with a few organization who are out there picking up one of these pieces and running like mad toward the puzzle that is human trafficking.

boy in pakistan
boy in pakistan

Demand.

As long as there is demand, there will be a supply to meet it. Is your piece, helping to cut off the demand? Therapist, counselors, ministers, and accountable friends alike are all pieces in the DEMAND portion of the puzzle. Youth with a Mission has their MST Project in Bangkok, Thailand where they minister to men pursuing sex in the red light districts in order to fill a void in their lives. 

Supply.

undercover
undercover

Boys. Girls. Men. Women. They are most often vulnerable because they are impoverished, under-educated, and alone. Who is standing with them? Not their friends. Not their families, government, law enforcement. What would the supply look like if we addressed poverty and education? What if we simply stood along side them, said "No, there is another way" and then helped them to find that way? {Yobel InternationalShininglight InternationalInternational Justice Mission.}

Rescue.

We desperately need appropriate, well thought out, planned, and executed rescue. And not just rescue, but prosecution. Without the prosecution of traffickers, they will just find another victim. {The Exodus Road.}

Safe Houses.

A place for rescued victims to come, find refuge, receive vast amounts of healing, and to recover. To successfully do so, there needs to be licensed professionals, and a well laid out plan to walk people through healing. The end goal of any successful safe house? Reintegration. {Sarah's Home. Restore Innocence. Amy's Home. Kwagala Ministries International. Love 146.}

restore innocence
restore innocence

Reintegration.

In the hopes of creating new opportunity, reintegration is so extremely pivotal for every victim of trafficking. How beautiful to see them filled with restored hope for their futures. And even further, equipped with skills to pursue those hopeful futures. {LCA. Yobel International. Sak Saum. Nightlight International. iSanctuary.}

Market.

What if, instead of a demand for humans, we had a demand for fair and ethically made goods? Let's change the demand that is out there! These markets can look different between local markets and global markets. Locally, there are coffee shops, local businesses, and fair trade boutiques offering great ethically made options. {Yobel Market. Beautiful and Beloved. Camino Massage TherapyRocky Mountain Way Mercantile.} Internationally, it can look a bit different, but all you need to know is what to be looking for. Bakeries and tea shops, ministries, and marketplaces are where you will find ethical markets. {Dton Naam. Freeset. Sasha. Life and Leaf.}

camino massage

camino massage

PR.

What got you so interested and passionate about this topic in the first place? Someone's story. So start telling stories. Your own. Other people's. Not to shock others, but to share what's happening, and more importantly, the hope that is redeeming each story. Host parties, write blogs, post articles. Do you feel like a broken record some days? I'll let you in on a little secret. We have all been that annoying person at dinner that won't stop talking about it. And we will keep being those people. Won't you join us? 

Funding.

We all need this. To keep going. To fight the good fight. We have discovered that some people are extremely good at generating money (asking for it, mostly.) Host a party, set up a fundraiser, give what you can! Every bit helps, and truly moves mountains for the hands and feet on the ground. She's Worth It can help you do this very thing if you need a little inspiration.

So what is your piece? What can you offer today? Is it photography? Is it writing? Is it seeing someone, validating their story? Is it balancing a budget? Do that! Do the thing that is your piece. Do it today. Do it tomorrow. Keep doing it. And before you know it…when you do your piece, and I do mine, the world is changed.

*** All the organizations shared above are not your ONLY options. They are just some of our favorites. Do a little research and see what your area has to offer. Then post a comment and let others know about the great things YOUR friends are doing! You just might be surprised! ***

Photo Credits:
Tanya Katy Photography/Beautiful and Beloved, Shining Light International, Kelli Stephenson/Exodus Road, Love Roots Photography/Abby Mortenson, Camino Massage