In line with Anti-Human Trafficking Week on the blawg, I spoke to Jenny Blakey of Light the Dark Campaign – a Washington-based initiative against human trafficking. She shares her passions and aims, providing us a bigger picture of what roles we can take to fight this and, equally importantly, how we can make sense of the matter.
1) Q: How did Light The Dark come about? What ignited your passion?
A: Myself and co-founder Mary Rankin were untied by a virtual internship through a social enterprise called Movement121. Both of us have a passion for truly helping those in need, whatever form that may be. Mary has been an abolitionist for a few years now, and when the idea for an awareness campaign came up, anti-human trafficking was a natural fit.
2) Q: You call it a movement which will take place in 2013 — can we have a sneak peek at how this will come to form?
A: Trying to get information early! Without giving too much away, Light the Dark is structured in a way that has never been done before. It’s a monumental effort – but if pulled off right, will have monumental results.
3) Q: How do you get people interested in your cause?
A: As far as getting people interested in a movement against human trafficking, there isn’t too much involved in igniting a passion against it. The world has been looking for a movement to address the issues that lead to poverty, hopelessness, and despair. We’re just lucky enough to be the ones to do it.
4) Q: It’s so easy to feel powerless with the strong tides of vice against us. What actions can we as individuals around the world take to combat human trafficking?
A: You’re absolutely right. Sometimes the problems are so big, it’s hard to know where to start. The first place I would recommend would be to engage your senses in the issue. Whether its watching a documentary or movie, reading a book, or listening to a speaker. Oftentimes it’s the stories of victims – or the story of human trafficking overall – that touch the part of our hearts necessary in order to effect change.
Next, of course, would be action. Obviously I’m going say one way to turn passion into action is to follow Light the Dark Campaign on Facebook and Twitter and keep up with our website, so people know when the opportunity to turn that passion into action will launch. But aside from this [and in light of the bigger picture], know that there is human trafficking happening in your neighborhood right now. Do a search on the trafficking of humans in your region, and I can guarantee that a grassroots organization desperately needing help will come up.
In the end, the most important thing to remember is – we’re all human beings. If we can’t even unite around each other and help each other, then what’s the use in fearing and complaining?
What’s vital to realise is – YOU can make a difference. Awareness is an effective first step to taking action, and there are multiple organisations established locally which would appreciate your time and skills (e.g. Project Liber8, Tenaganita, CAMSA (Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia) and Pusat Kebajikan Good Shepherd.
Your voice and help is powerful. Think about it, spread the word, and do something today!