"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burk
I believe in an individual's ability to change the world. I really, honestly do. You just need to look at people like Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Mother Theresa, Hitler, or Kim Kardashian for proof. Whether it's changing the planet for good, like Mother Theresa; for bad like Hitler, or simply changing pop culture like the Kardashians - one person can make one heck of a difference!I, however, seem to organically exclude myself from this ability. I mean, I can help change “my slice” of the world and serve my friends and family by bring joy to those around me, being thoughtful or simply making a meal for a family in need… But to think that I can actually contribute to changing something significant about the state of the world… Well that feels a little unrealistic and overwhelming.However.On Saturday, October 17th, I participated in the A21, “Walk For Freedom”.If you’re not familiar with A21, my gosh, get on that! A21 are an Australian organisation run by Sydney wonder woman, Christine Caine, and are committed to abolishing sex slavery in the 21st century. They work within communities, through government and on the ground rescuing sex slaves around the world. It's estimated that there are 27 million men, women and children currently in bondage due to human trafficking around the world. If that's not shocking enough, the average age of a sex slave victim is 12-years-old, and once captured and trafficked, has a life expectancy of only 2-4 years. Wow.
I’ll never forget when I first had my eyes opened to the horrific things that were happening around the world. I thought human slavery was something of the past. Ask me about it and visions of African-Americans in the 1800’s, or Hebrews being whipped in Ancient Egypt would come to mind. Never would I have thought that it was still happening in our society, and that it now looked like a 12-year-old girl captured, raped and drugged until she stopped fighting back, who was then forced to service up to 40 ‘customers’ a day.Something MUST be done. There comes a point where as a society, as humanity, we have to say enough is enough, NOT on my watch. That is why on that sunny Saturday, I walked. I walked with 100+ other people from the community, as well as with over 200 locations around the globe, in a silent straight line, all in black, through a popular spot in Cairns. I walked for the voiceless, for the captured, for the missing. For the girls who are feeling hopeless and the boys who are feeling frightened. I walked for the freedom of those who couldn’t. I walked for awareness, in the hope that others will check out the amazing work A21 is doing and support their cause. We can’t all fly over to Syria and help rescue women captured by ISIS soldiers, or to Europe to free young girls who have been torn away from their families. But we can donate and we can bring awareness. We can partner with A21, and we can significantly change the state of the world.I urge you, check out www.A21.org , and do what you can. Share information, share this blog, partner with Christine and her team. Let's do what we can do abolish sex slavery in the 21st Century, because the truth is, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men and women to do nothing.
All my love Kim xx
Kim Cooper is a 28 year old music, people, sunshine and Jesus lover living in tropical North Queensland. She currently works as vocal coach and is passionate about currant affairs, health and wellbeing.
21 WAYS TO HELP
1. WRITE A LETTER
Grab your stationery and pull out a pen! The simple act of writing to a survivor in one of our homes is an incredible encouragement to survivors along their journey. But don’t be surprised if it has a great impact on you too. Click here to find out more information.
2. MULTIPLY YOUR PENNIES
Everyday changes can make huge impacts in bringing an end to slavery. By simply altering daily choices and saving money, you can become a partner with us as we bring an end to slavery. Instead of ordering a large coffee, opt for a smaller size and save those pennies! A few small changes can help bring lasting change for a survivor!
3. GET SOCIAL
That’s right, we want to be social with social media. Whether through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you can find ways to connect with us for updated information, as well as quickly share information with your friends and family. It’s the easiest way to spread the word, as well as to stay connected to freedom fighters all over the globe.
4. GET SMART
Take some time to learn the facts about what’s happening in the world of modern slavery. When you have knowledge about the subject, you’re more likely to share with those around you. An easy way to stay informed is to visit our blog or download the USA high school curriculum.
5. INTERN OR VOLUNTEER
Around the globe we have teams of people working hard in the fight against injustice. Click here to find out how you can join the team and use your time to make a difference.
6. BE A BILLBOARD
Not only can fashion express who you are, but it can also represent what you stand for! In our online shop, you will find fashionable attire and accessories to start conversations about human trafficking.
7. SEND STUFF
Round up some friends and purchase gifts to help survivors. You can do everything from furnishing shelters to sending hygiene products across the globe... and all with a piece of plastic. Send gift cards for Target, Wal-Mart, or Ikea to our U. S. office, and we will take care of sending your love to the survivors in our care.
Human trafficking is nothing short of evil, but don’t underestimate the power of prayer. If you would like to obtain a prayer guide, visit our downloads for print.
9. REQUEST A SPEAKER
Have you ever felt like you didn’t have the expertise to educate on such a heavy subject? Bring in someone from The A21 Campaign to speak at your freedom event. This is one of the best ways to catch the vision of The A21 Campaign and find out more information on how YOU can get involved.
10. READ ALL ABOUT IT
Learn about what’s happening across the globe and in your own backyard here. The A21 Campaign monthly updates also provide innovative ways to make a difference each month.
11. SHOW YOUR STUFF
Write a blog about why we should fight against human trafficking; paint a picture and display it publicly; use a sports event to raise awareness and funds; write a song or talk about human trafficking at a concert; create a short film and post it on YouTube.
12. REMEMBER THE 21ST
Join us on the 21st of every month as we set aside a day to remember people who are currently in slavery. Whether it's giving up a cup of coffee or an entire meal, it serves as a reminder to take action and stand for justice around the world.
13. WRITE FOR THEIR RIGHTS
We believe everyone has a voice to be heard. By lobbying your local politician, you can advocate for those without a voice. For more information on how to inform your elected officials, check out Polaris Project.
14. PARTY WITH A PURPOSE
Host an event for the sake of freedom. From mixers to birthday parties, your gathering can show your heart for social justice. Take the opportunity to raise funds and awareness for The A21 Campaign.
15. INCORPORATE THE CORPORATE
Many companies are now partnering with nonprofit organizations for seasonal moments of giving back. If you work in the corporate world (or know someone who does), ask if A21 could be considered as one of the contenders for a partnership program, matching funds, or a sponsored charity.
16. MAKE VIDEOS VIRAL
What if you had just as much enthusiasm for justice as you did for those funny cat videos on YouTube? Plaster your online presence with videos to grab people’s attention.
17. LINK LOCALLY
Find out who’s in your area and link up with them! That’s right, there are other people in your area who share your passion in abolishing slavery. Whether it’s a local task force, or a student group that is hosting an event, join them and stand together in the fight for freedom!
18. WALK IN HER SHOES
It’s been said that you don’t know someone until you walk a mile in their shoes. Maybe you can walk a mile in high heels to raise awareness. We’ve had advocates row across an ocean, climb mountains, cycle across the country, and simply organize a run for awareness. Your initiatives can make a difference through raising funds and knowledge! Read some of the amazing stories here.
19. JOIN AN A-TEAM
Whether you are a student, entrepreneur, or stay-at-home mom, we believe you can make a difference! Join our A-Teams as an abolitionist or advocate to raise awareness. Signing up with A-Teams will give you the resources you need to make a difference with your peers and friends.
20. DEMAND NO DEMAND
Human trafficking leaves a footprint. The shoes you buy, the chocolate you eat, or even the parts that make up your smart phone might very well have been made by a modern-day slave. But if we don’t buy the products, there will be no demand. Take this test and see how many slaves work for you: http://slaveryfootprint.org.
21. SUPPLY THE SOLUTION
The truth is that every single one of us is wired to be able to bring a truly unique solution to a very real problem occurring today. This list of 21 things does not end here. In fact, it does not end at all. The reality is that if you want to make a difference in the fight against human trafficking, you can. If there is still breath in your lungs and a beat in your heart, you have the opportunity to add to this list!