Whenever we talk to people about human trafficking, people often tell us: “Oh! Like in the movie Taken!” and frequently joke about how awesome it would be to have Liam Neeson working for us.
But we don’t want Liam Neeson. We want his stunt double.
Behind every flawlessly executed kick to the face that flashes across the screen is much more than Liam Neeson (that’s probably not even his foot). It’s dozens of people whose names you’ve likely never heard of—it’s Hugues, the production designer. It’s Damien, the boom operator. It’s Nathalie, the visual effects coordinator. And it’s Mark Vanselow, Liam Neeson’s stunt double—the guy taking all the hits and bruises while Liam is standing under an umbrella that someone else is holding for him.
And in our experience, the work of justice is the same way.
The idea of one individual possessing “a very particular set of skills” that can singlehandedly save the day…is a myth.
For every breakthrough moment that we celebrate with a youth who’s in our care, there are dozens of people who have poured in blood, sweat, tears, and dollars to make that a possibility. They’re the unsung heroes behind the scenes working, loving, hoping, fighting every day—It’s Ranilo, the bus driver who takes children in our care in the Philippines to meetings every week. It’s Vita, our Donations and Database Assistant who makes sure all our paperwork is in order. It’s Grace, who gives hours and hours of her time to write thank you cards to our donors. It’s Maribel, the Round Home staff worker who patiently waters mushrooms with the girls in our care. It’s people like you, our supporters who are willing to do whatever it takes to help end child trafficking and exploitation.
And it’s the children themselves, who do most of the hard work of recovery day in and day out—they don’t get to take a vacation from their past, or take a break under an umbrella.
There’s no director that yells “cut” to make the pain stop, and there’s no make up artist that wipes away the scars at the end of the day.
We’ve seen that children have a “very particular set of skills” too—persistence, courage, resilience, and strength. And to a degree that would make even Liam Neeson envious.