January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. The Presidential Proclamation states:
… we acknowledge that forms of slavery still exist in the modern era, and we recommit ourselves to stopping the human traffickers who ply this horrific trade.
This month, I urge all Americans to educate themselves about all forms of modern slavery and the signs and consequences of human trafficking. Together, we can and must end this most serious, ongoing criminal civil rights violation. – Barack Obama
How can you take part? I’d like to suggest you read Jantsen’s Gift by Pam Cope to educate yourself about the child trafficking that is going on today in Ghana, West Africa. Jantsen’s Gift is a true story of Pam Cope and her journey through grief, rescue and grace. I’ll warn you now you’ll need a box of tissues. It chronicles the steps that led her to the small town of Kete Krachi, Ghana where George Achibra Sr. leads a family effort to find, rescue, educate and rehabilitate trafficked children off of Lake Volta.
I read this book a few weeks before I traveled to Ghana, West Africa last year to take a similar journey to Lake Volta and see the work being done to rescue children trafficked on the lake into the fishing industry. It is a sad reality that is as sobering in real life as the book portrays. You can read about my trip here.
This was my third trip to Ghana in the last 2 years. I had no idea when I said yes to that first trip where it would lead. I just knew that the first step was to go. The next step would not come until after I took the first one. And 2 years later I found myself on a boat in a lake in the middle of Ghana staring into the eyes of a child with no hope, no sorrow, no emotion of any kind. Empty. A slave. At that moment, I knew there would be more next steps for me to take.
I’m back home now and past the business of holidays, college students home on break, vacation and re-entry to work. And the next steps are making themselves clear. I’ll be attending the Women of Vision Conference in March. I’ll take part in a day of lobbying with my congressman to encourage him to co-sponsor HR 2737, “The Child Protection Compact Act”, which will help enforce anti-trafficking laws by creating partnerships between the United States, countries trying to combat child slavery, and organizations such as World Vision that continue to lead the fight to end child trafficking and slavery.
And another opportunity is presenting itself for April that just might include an invitation for you to join me. More on that to come. Keep reading and checking back for more information.
Next steps. Take one.
Read the book
Check out the organization Touch a Life
Join me at Women of Vision Conference and Lobby Day
Join the conversation here and tell me about your step