Friday, October 29, 2010

October's Continuing Education

Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in this month’s Continuing Education Event- Call + Response.

I was very excited at the number of friends who were brought to this month’s event.

Call + Response was made because a musician, Justin Dillan, became aware of human trafficking as an issue and wanted to do something about it. He wanted to do a concert benefit for the cause but was not able to get all of the musicians he wanted in one place at one time so they decided to film different acts at different times.

Some of the music that was in the movie was very moving. One of the songs was called War Child and was by a man, Emmanuel Jal, who was forced to fight in a militia group as a small child. The song was his story.

Emmanuel Jal's story is not only one of war and violence, but also one of reconciliation and peace. His music puts his experiences into words. As a child, in 1987, Jal was taken from his family in Sudan and trained to serve in the rebel army, Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). In almost five years, Jal fought in two civil wars as a child soldier. He was smuggled to Nairobi, Kenya, by a British aid worker, Emma McClune.

Once Justin started getting musicians to take part in his movie he also started talking to people who were experts on the issue. Their interviews also got added to the movie.

One of the people we heard from was Nicholas Kristof who is a reporter for the New York Times. Nicholas actually ended up buying two girls to try to get them out of slavery.

Kristof provides a key element to the film's interpretation of modern day slavery through his personal and professional experience. He has spent extensive time in Southeast Asia, investigating and reporting on modern sex slavery. In 2004 he took the provocative step of offering to buy the freedom of two young women in a Cambodian brothrel, Srey Neth and Srey Mom. He used his column in the New York Times to share his experience with readers and to help illuminate the plight of millions worldwide. His incisive stories continue to give a voice to the voiceless victims of human trafficking.

Again I am so glad that we were able to get together and watch this movie. I think that the hotline is a way for Human Trafficking Victims to feel safe reaching out for help as it is an anonymous. We may come in contact with these people in the hospital on F2F calls. Its important for us to be aware and mindful of the issue with the work we do.

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