JFY Partners With Stop The Traffik At The Olympics
~News Update by John Nielsen~
A small group of Justice For Youth advocates, accompanied by a youth group called “Rez Next Gen” from East Syracuse, NY, traveled to London for 13 days to raise awareness on the issue human trafficking (July 22-Aug 3). We had the privilege to serve with “Stop The Traffik,” a London based sister organization (a big sister, we might add!), as a part of the “Global Initiative To Fight Human Trafficking.”
Our team of 13 people joined dozens of other volunteers from all over the world, staffing these brilliantly conceived and very effective displays that were essentially bigger than life Gift Boxes designed to evoke curiosity and draw people inside to read and learn more on the issue. Strategically placed throughout London so as to reach the greatest number of people possible, these displays were very effective.
Besides engaging people directly on the issue of human trafficking, a primary focus of the UN Gift Box program is to gather signatures. The idea is simple: the more signatures we gather for our petition, the more priority will be given by the UN on the issue. With this in mind, we all worked hard to gather as many signatures as we could—hundreds per day throughout London—from people we were visiting from all over the world.
Stop The Traffik’s founder, Steve Chalke, is an amazing individual with an incredible dedication to help those at risk. You can read more about him HERE. Working with his local staff at locations like St Paul’s Cathedral was a great experience. Not only did we work alongside some amazing people and meet some interesting people from all over the world-, but we were able to expose the group of young people from “Rez Next Gen” to this critical issue. They dubbed the field trip “London With Love.”
As the JFY leader who came up with the idea of putting this trip together, my takeaway is this: GOING and DOING is still the best way to experience and transfer life change to others. A lot of time, effort and money was poured into this trip by all who went—but I can say ALL who came were impacted in a way we will never forget. And only God knows the impact we made on the hearts and minds of those we met. Based on a few encounters I had, it was substantial.
So what’s next? For summer 2013, I would like to take teams to Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Kazakhstan!
Hear what some of our team (and people off the streets) had to say below…