This week we’ve highlighted the efforts of individuals who have been moved to do their part in the fight against slavery. We’re often dissuaded by our own belief that our actions will have no effect, that without the backing of a large organization, we cannot change things. But the following stories prove otherwise.
Jeff Wilbarger, a math teacher in Bowling Green Ohio, founded The Daughter Project after reading David Batstone’s Not For Sale. Immediately after reading the book, he felt as though he needed to leave Ohio and move somewhere where trafficking actually exists. So much to his surprise, Jeff found out that Toledo, Ohio ranks among the top five cities to have the highest rate of child sex trafficking in the United States. That's why he's building what will become one of the few safe homes for victims of human trafficking in the U.S.
Coincidentally, Amy Seiffert - a young mother living in Bowling Green, Ohio, with no connection to Jeff Willbarger– read an online story about the issue of child sex trafficking in Toledo. After learning about The Daughter Project, she decided to do something about it too; for six months, she would wear one dress and donate the money she would have otherwise spent on clothing to Jeff Wilbarger’s charity. She blogged about the experience, and along the way many of her friends - and strangers - joined her in this project.
On the other side of the world, in Gunsam, South Korea, a group of students have taken a stand against slavery. These students are helping, simply by spreading awareness, or by choosing to buy slave-free products whenever possible. Their school, Yeong Gwang Girls High School, is known for its outreach and volunteer work; their new project is to help abolish slavery.
In the U.S., a group of New York City high school students have painted a graffiti mural for Somaly Mam. These students want to provide a voice for victims, who have none. Somaly Mam was a victim of human trafficking and now runs her foundation in Cambodia - providing a safe haven for other victims.
Finally, we featured the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, founded by Kenneth B. Morris Jr., the great-great-grandson of Frederick Douglass and great-great-grandson of Booker T. Washington. The Frederick Douglass Foundation aims to help abolish slavery through education.
Don’t forget to keep the iReports coming in! We’d love to see what you’re doing to take a stand against slavery.