January 11th is Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the United States. Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. From January 1st through January 11th, we’ll be posting daily blogs -- staff reflections, inspirational quotes and more that reflect our passion to see child trafficking and exploitation ended. Our resolution is to protect and defend the vulnerable and to restore and empower survivors. Join us in 2013 as we continue onwards towards abolition!
I remember the first time someone told me they believed in me. It changed my life.
I was an awkward teenager. This was a huge moment for me. I remember so many details of that moment. I was driving with a mentor of mine in an old Nissan. It was that really popular gold-champagne color that make average cars look as though they’re more fancy than they really are. The thing that made it so special was that someone recognized something good in me. Someone validated by dignity! These simple words changed my life forever.
When I think of the children that we have the privilege of impacting or the story of Love146 -- a girl in a brothel, with a number, with her name replaced with a number -- I think about dignity. Then I think about a how that same girl without a name inspired a bunch of people to do remarkable things. I’m talking downright crazy stuff, stuff like start an organization, ride a 100 miles on a bike, run thousands of miles, give up their hard-earned cash, put on events in their communities. All these things shout “We believe in you!” to every child being enslaved at this very moment. From the girls in the Round Home, to the boy I saw being exploited in Phenom Penh, Cambodia, to the girls in our safe home light up when they saw a wedding dress because they could imagine a hopeful future for themselves.
We shout to you, “We see you and we believe in you!” Every time we act on behalf of the vulnerable and exploited, it validates the intrinsic dignity and value of each child we aim to impact -- no matter how simple or extravagant the gesture. It matters.
As Mother Teresa said, “Love does not need to be extravagant to be sincere.”
David Henry is Love146’s Partnership Coordinator, helping to cultivate relationships with a multitude of people who want to support the work of abolition and restoration. He hails from the great state of Texas. Before joining Love146, he worked extensively in Southern Africa with HIV/AIDS and Orphans issues. He has also travelled to many countries leading short=term service teams in Africa, Central America, Europe and the Middle East. When not at the office, you can often find him making a meal with friends, playing rock and roll, conspiring with friends or plotting a small adventure.