Jessica was an orphan on the streets when she was convinced by a ‘friend’ to go with her to another city where accommodation and a job would be provided. When she arrived, she was given drugs and told that she had to work as a prostitute in order to pay back the money she owed for transport, food, accommodation and drugs. She was a virgin at the time. Her introduction into the sex trade for the next ten years was being raped by three men.
If we could only reach her before the traffickers did…
We interviewed Annelize Theunissen from The Freedom Challenge in Africa and asked her to tell us about their prevention tool: Traffick Wise.
What is Traffick Wise?
It is a two-day prevention training program designed by The Freedom Challenge Africa. Our aim is to recruit, train and send out facilitators to vulnerable areas of South Africa to identify and empower potential victims of human trafficking.
What do People Learn on the Course?
Everyone gets to watch the documentary ‘Nefarious’ and other insightful video clips to explain the different forms of modern-day slavery, and we operate simulations to illustrate what human trafficking looks like in practice.
We educate people on the four-step chain of human trafficking: TRICKED – TRANSPORT – TRAPPED and USED. If we can help prevent vulnerable women and children into being tricked or transported to an unknown place, often with a promise of education or employment, we can avoid the psychological breakdown which happens once they are trapped.
We focus on the spiritual as well as the moral aspects of human trafficking and modern day slavery. Whilst it’s often morally acceptable in many cultures to sell your child or to work as a sex worker, for instance, there is also a spiritual dimension which is why prayer is so important.
Who is the course for?
We run four courses a year and train a variety of participants. We teach school children and young people how to be vigilant around the ways they could be tricked into leaving their family and community, university and student groups, church gatherings as well as government officials (police, border control etc).
Why focus on prevention, rather than rescue?
The old saying “prevention is better than cure” rings very true when it comes to the rehabilitation of trafficked victims. The road to recovery is a labor and cost-intensive process which does not always come with a high success rate. It is our heart to see women and children saved before becoming victims. Whilst prevention work is often ‘behind the scenes’ and sometimes difficult to quantify, we see it as an invaluable investment into the future.
How can we help and find out more?
We value your prayers. We designed 'A Prayer Guide for Justice' a few years ago (it’s currently being updated) which has lots of useful information and ways you can pray into the whole issue of slavery in our world. You can download the booklet here.
SIGN UP FOR A TRAFFICK WISE COURSE
We are getting ready to launch Traffick Wise in the USA – sign up to be the first to know when the program is available in your area.
We are currently fundraising for a vehicle to enable us to visit the more rural areas of South Africa and take a team with us to run the program. The more people we train, the more victims can be reached before they are trapped. We need to raise $10,000 and you can donate here mentioning ‘Traffick Wise’ in the comments.