Love146 has a vision that’s been accused of naivety and idealism: the end of of child trafficking and exploitation. Nothing less
As a creative at Love146, I deeply share this vision. At my core, I do believe a better world is coming. A restored world is possible. My faith calls it “The Kingdom,” an earth that’s restored, where the dynamic of “predators and prey” is past, and instead Lions curl up with Lambs. People of many backgrounds share a similar conviction. Though, admittedly, not all. Even though the world is a mess right now, and it’s my reality, it’s not what I’ll orient my life around. Call me naive, but I’ll stick to the idealistic vision.
I’m an artist, designer, and marketing professional. Since joining the Love146 team in 2009, I’ve had countless experiences of being approached by individuals, moved by the cause to end child trafficking, who come sharing their conviction to join the work. Often it’s a person saying they’re meant to do therapy with trafficked children or start a safehome, or it’s someone telling me they want to be an investigator or lawyer, takin’ down traffickers and villains. My advice is usually to encourage the person to begin by pursuing a practice of this skill apart from trafficked persons. To the aspiring aftercare worker, I suggest to start working with kids at local afterschool programs and mentoring. Many times, people seem upset and confused by this answer, since surely I should want more co-workers in this fight (and I do!). Admittedly, it’s less than encouraging for their compassionate hearts. Here’s the thing though: if you aren’t moved to invest deeply in the life of a 9th grader who hasn’t been trafficked, yet you say you want to work in aftercare, then maybe you aren’t really sure who you are apart from these problems. You may even be saying you care about problems more than you care about children, which is really dangerous. If you want to be a lawyer, do it because you have a passion for ethical principles and love to see them applied to complex realities of life. Not because you live soley to work with trafficked persons. Plus, victims of severe trauma and injustice deserve experienced and wise support.
If you aren’t energized and fulfilled practicing a certain skill apart from really messed up stuff like trafficking, then you’ll most likely experience burnout.
If you believe a better world is possible, who would you be in THAT world? If you don’t know, then how can you help build that world? If your identity is dependent upon the problems of others, you’ll not be able to, with integrity, contribute to a solution– because that solution is a threat to your identity. At a deep level, it’s a conflict of interest that will sabotage your impact and likely lead to burnout and disillusionment.
That’s why I love Nicole, our Love146 social worker in the Love146 US Office. Nicole loves adolescent kids. Apart from her work with Love146, Nicole in her personal time is a committed mentor of five adolescent girls. From what I hear, these girls deal with issues of real life, but they’re not all “glamour cases” in which Nicole would hang her identity as some savior. She just does it because she loves kids, not their problems. Nicole demonstrates her vision of a world without trafficking and exploitation by putting herself in that world and loving it. I, thus, trust her to walk beside victims when her work at Love146 requires it.
I love design. Doing designs that help end trafficking is fulfilling, don’t get me wrong. But if I didn’t love design without a world full of problems, I could never work with such difficult things without burning out. I don’t love trafficking- I love design. And that’s what keeps me going. I’d love to be a designer in a world without trafficking. Since that world doesn’t yet exist, I’m glad to help build it in the meantime– and by all means, join me.
ps: if the world was right, and you’d like to be things like a teacher, a web developer, a counselor, a filmmaker, an administrator, and a partier (aka rallier of movements)… then keep tuned into our employment page over the coming years. 🙂