Off to America, Partnering with Vital Voices

How important is it to reply to emails?

Extremely important!

Particularly the ones that lead to fully funded overseas trips…. 

 

I was busy researching on my lap top in early in February, when I got a very strong impression to not only read the email that just came through, but also to reply to it on the spot. 

To this day, I still do not know how that email ended up in my inbox – but it led to a wonderful adventure – an inspiring trip that has shaped the direction of the work of Fighting for Justice Foundation. 

I am so grateful for my Sister Colleagues through Vital Voices. 

Under the sponsorship of the Vital Voices Global Freedom Exchange women’s leadership program, I was able to visit and meet with government officials, including the State Department, the authors of the Trafficking in Persons Annual Report, judges, lawyers, law enforcement, community based shelters, rescue services and prevention programs in Washington DC, New York City, and Dallas, Texas. 

Without the coordination and sponsorship from Vital Voices, this trip would not have been possible. 

The Vital Voices Global Partnerships is the preeminent non-governmental organisation that identifies, trains and empowers emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe, enabling them to create a better world for us all. 

The Vital Voices Global Network enables women to become change agents in their governments, advocates for social justice, and supporters of democracy and the rule of law, equip women with management, business development, marketing, and communications skills to expand their enterprises, help to provide for their families, and create jobs in their communities, and is at the forefront of international coalitions to combat human trafficking and other forms of violence against women and girls. 

We were spoilt in every city by being put up in Hilton Hotels everywhere we went! 

In partnership with Hilton Hotel and Vital Voices, various women leaders from around the globe – including Serbia, South Africa, Brazil, Kenya, Sri Lanka, India, the Phillipines, Thailand, Cambodia, – in various service delivery capacities through various organisations -we discussed, wrestled with, contemplated and collaborated on the global issue of human trafficking and its impact on criminality in all of our nations. 

We found much common ground – in who we were, the work that we do, and why we do what we do …. 

The fact remains – human  trafficking occurs in every country – it victimises the most vulnerable – and corruption, greed and demand continue to fuel this criminal industry that has become so profitable and so cruel and degrading towards its victims. 

In speaking to the CEO of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Centre, Justice Peggy Hoffman, the staff at a Child Protection Rehabilitation Centre, the founder of Genesis Shelter, government officials, law enforcement, survivors, judges and lawyers on this inspiring trip, I came to value the impact of prevention education community programs, the impact of outreach services, and the integral role that holistic rehabilitation centres play for victims of gender-based violence. 

It is on this trip that the future direction and project focuses for FFJF became clearer and cemented. Out of this trip, various business plans for various targeted projects seeking to curb the demand of human trafficking was birthed! 

Now I just need to build the teams and secure seed funding to launch these projects in 2017 – contact FFJF if you would like to be a part of this movement to shift social norms that curb the demand of human trafficking, and address gender based violence in our immediate and regional communities. 

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