In 2011 I had the honor of being part of a team who travelled to Cambodia. We would be meeting with girls who had been rescued from the sex trade and taken to a beautiful place called Bloom Asia (click on the logo below to learn more about the AMAZING work Bloom Asia are doing).
While on this trip I saw and learned a lot of truths and realities that brought constant tears but I also saw the beautiful reality of healing. These girls were being given a chance to … bloom.
It is not a straightforward situation for the girls. Whether they have been kidnapped by a trafficker or sold by their family who are desperate for money, the girls cannot simply walk back into their community.
They have been tainted; they are often shunned by their family, which means they are still incredibly vulnerable.
The girls can try and survive without a home and family but this places them back at extreme risk of being re-trafficked. Their other option is to voluntarily go back into prostitution, as it is all they know, it’s their only option if they want to eat and “survive”.
Organisations like Bloom Asia and Destiny Rescue help with that horrible dilemma. They take the girls in and show them that they are precious, they are valued and they are loved.
The girls are given trauma counseling and support, taught a trade and life skills. They are safe!
The trip to Cambodia planted something in my heart that was only going to grow more and more.
In 2016 I became an advocate for Destiny Rescue. Part of my original advocacy was researching Human Trafficking articles for facts etc. These articles hit me very hard – especially having a little girl of my own. But it really built awareness and a little more understanding of how much is going on in our world.
Out of everything I read this was the story that stood out to me the most!
This 15-year-old girl from Nepal was trafficked into a brothel in India and systematically raped over 7,000 times during a two-year period.
“ At the end of the interview, I sat there speechless. I finally said, “Wow, you must be so angry at the traffickers for all of the terrible things they did to you.”
Instead, Gita looked accusingly at me and the others in the room and said, “No, I am not angry at the traffickers, I am angry at you!” she shouted, pointing her finger at each of us in turn. “Where were you when I was in that terrible brothel? I sat there every day waiting for someone to come and save me. I knew that everything happening around me was illegal and wrong. Where were you and everyone else when I needed you?”
“And why are you sitting here?” she added. “Why aren’t you down there helping those other girls? Everyone knows what is going on. How can such terrible things happen without anyone doing anything? I am not angry with the traffickers. They are just bad people doing what they do – bad things. I am angry at the good people – society, you! Where were you? Why does no one care?”
This challenged me beyond words. If I was placed in front of one of these girls and they asked me where I was, what could I possible say?! This image has empowered me from that point on. There are millions of people all over the world wondering where the good people are.
All these articles, thoughts, images and the trip have kept my brain ticking(for 5 years!). They have often consumed my thoughts.
I was 100% positive Pilates was my career but I didn’t see how it could make a wider impact. I originally planned to run classes a couple of Saturdays a year and 100% of proceeds could go to Destiny Rescue (I was going to call it Pilates for a Purpose). But thinking of these injustices 3 times a year was not enough. I wanted my daily living to have deeper purpose and impact.
“Chapter 1” (By Daniel Flynn, Co-founder of Thankyou) really helped bring all my thoughts together. It gave me that little extra boldness and creativity. My idea isn’t original. In fact some days I feel it is terribly ordinary and still not enough. But it is a start. It is using my current skills and abilities in a way that can make an impact.
We all have different passions, abilities, goals and experiences and for each of us – often a specific something tugs just that little bit more in our individual hearts.
I love this!
There are so many injustices in this world! But by building awareness, feeling inspired with a sense of purpose and a desire to impact, less and less will there be a wondering of where the good people are.
"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."