It is important for my mind, body and soul that I try to give back when I can and do my small part to make a difference. Tonight I am volunteering at the End Slavery Event in Ottawa. This event is hosted by the Ottawa Coalition to End Human Trafficking along with PACT (Persons Against the Crime of Trafficking in humans) and is the second part of a networking and information session designed to educate and inform. I will be representing Ottawa Victim Services, a phenomenal non-for-profit organization I have been working with since I moved to Ottawa four years ago.
I first learned about human trafficking in my second year of University in my Crimininology class. I lived a fairly sheltered and naive existence before this so discovering that women, men and children were being treated as slaves destroyed my innocence. I decided to write a research paper on Sex Trafficking in Canada and the statistics were alarming. Who knew that this sort of criminal activity was occuring in our country? I then joined a student group about Human Trafficking and educated myself through reading, researching and watching films.
Last year I had the opportunity to attend PACT's first information session on ending Human Trafficking locally and I was encouraged by the enthusiasm of community agencies in collaborating to come up with a solution to this ever-manifesting issue. For anyone interested, Victor Malarek wrote a very moving and informative book called The Natashas which is a great foundation for someone who wants to learn more. If you need a good cry, rent the movie Human Trafficking (be aware that it is very disturbing at points).
As much as I love fashion, volunteering is what keeps me going and motivates me to be the best person that I can be. I have been blessed with so many opportunities in my life that it is humbling and rewarding to give back to the community. It's not about the recognition, it's not about the fame; it's about using your skills to better the world around us so that those who come after will benefit from our altruism.
"Dare to reach your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light" - Norman Rice