A sea of abolitionists gathered on Saturday in support of the DC Stop Modern Day Slavery Walk which raises funds which will be distributed to NGOs working towards reducing trafficking and responding to victims/survivor needs.
In 2009, I ventured on my first overseas living experience with Word Made Flesh in Kolkata, India. Daily, we would see the effects of poverty, injustice, and trafficking. We visited brothels, walked the alleys where 14 year old Nepali girls tried to lengthen the short skirts they were forced to wear. We sat together and hand stitched old saris into purses, building relationships with former sex workers empowered through a job with dignity. We were friends with Kelsea of Freeset, the one American staff, and I remember the day we sat on the first floor cement and helped cut T-shirt poster board patterns. (I may have suggested purchasing the Walk shirts from Freeset… I may have been really excited to see their shirts on Saturday).
Speakers included many survivors of trafficking ranging from a woman who was trafficked from West Africa to the states at the age of 9 for forced child labor to take care of someone else’s children. Girls who were trafficked from DC to New York, beaten daily, and forced to be statutory raped over and over again to whatever man was willing to pay. Women who are survivors and now raising national awareness such as Tina Frundt at Courtney’s House. Here, Kay Churnish of ArtWorks for Freedom speaks about using the power of art to fight modern day slavery and human trafficking.
Check out a few of this years partner organizations: