In 2002 during the UN General Assembly’s Special Session on Children, two young delegates representing the children of the world made the following statement; “We are children whose voices are not being heard: it is time we are taken into account.”
For a number of reasons, children who are the victims of trafficking and exploitation are often unseen and unheard. And those who survive can slip through the cracks of flawed systems of victim services.
Recently, passionate advocates for Love146 gathered together top stars and dancers from the stages of London’s West End musicals (including Wicked, Mama Mia!, Grease, We Will Rock You, Love Never Dies, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Wizard of Oz, Dirty Dancing and the English National Ballet) to participate in a “flash mob” in Trafalgar Square in London to support the work of Love146. Led by Rachel Tucker, star of “Wicked,” the singers and dancers performed to a specially arranged version of Annie Lennox’s song, “Little Bird.” Their desire was to bring attention to the reality of these children who go unseen and unnoticed.
Rachel, who plays the lead role of Elphaba,(the Wicked Witch of the West) in Wicked said: “All of us are shocked to hear the terrible fate of children even in our home towns and cities. This is our way of trying to raise awareness, and getting people behind Love146’s campaign to make a real difference…"
While watching the flash mob, the words of “Little Bird” struck me:
“I walk along the city streets, so dark with rage and fear; And I wish that I could be that bird and fly away from here. I wish I had the wings to fly away from here.”
I was reminded of a scene in the movie Forrest Gump that shreds me every time I see it. When young Forrest and little Jenny are running to get away from Jenny’s abusive father, they hide out in a field and Jenny desperately prays; “Dear God, make me a bird. So I could fly far, far away from here.” I wonder how many exploited children pray that prayer every day?
Our goal here at Love146 is to not only call attention to the horrors of child trafficking and exploitation, but to stop it from happening. We are accomplishing that through our prevention efforts. In addition, we are working to restore life again to survivors. We see children getting their wings back. Wings that were once broken are being made strong again.
We celebrate when children, who, like the alienated and marginalized Elphaba in Wicked, can sing;
“To those who'd ground me
Take a message back from me
Tell them how I am
I'm flying high
And you can't pull me down!”
Thanks for helping children fly again!
President & Co-Founder Love146
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