Back in January, we had created a message for 2020 – “New Vision, New Beginning.” Engage and educate people by giving them 20/20 sight – so that Human Trafficking would no longer be “Hidden in Plain sight.”
We promoted in January, Human Trafficking Month, “Blind Eyes Opened – a movie that premiered in specific movie houses to help educate people to know that this is not a problem abroad, but in the United States – in our own backyards.
It is now May. We all have experienced a new vision – a different way of life and some have said “a new normal.” I’m praying for a “Better normal.” Corona Virus or COVID 19 has changed our way of life here and around the world. Who would ever imagine that this global crisis would have impacted our lives in a matter of months. More than ever, EnJewel needs you. Human trafficking has escalated to new heights. Many have asked on how COVID19 has impacted the human trafficking landscape. What makes children and adults vulnerable to human trafficking in the first place: economic conditions, unstable living conditions and even drug abuse.
- If you think about it, children are at home doing on-line classes now instead of being in school. Who is home with the kids? Are they unsupervised?
- Are they on the phone, IPad, gaming? Kids and adults are turning to their devices more than ever. If you heard me speak before, you know that technology is a worldwide necessity but also if not used safely can be of harm as well. Knowing the proper use of settings and reviewing games and apps that your children are using – is all very important to prevent unwanted predators in your home space through technology.
EnJewel is also concerned with our community, which is heavy military and has a community of many diverse backgrounds. Hampton Roads, as in other cities, is a fabric of many immigrant communities.
- Where there is much concern is for those who may be undocumented. Immigration status is a hot button used by traffickers as a way to keep children and adults under their control. There is a “Climate of fear” that has people even less likely than before to come forward to seek help.
EnJewel is concerned with homelessness as another key vulnerability for trafficking.
- School kids would normally get at least 1-2 meals from school, but now that they are at home. How are kids being fed?
- Unemployment is on the rise, these are factors where traffickers are lingering to help with a possible answer.
EnJewel will continue to share as we learn more about the landscape. Part of the problem is not having enough education. If we can help give awareness, it may be the one thing that can help protect you and your loved ones.
A great shout out to our EnJewel Volunteers and Donors!
I do want you to know that our EnJewel volunteers have been out tirelessly to make a difference even in these challenging times. The month of March was scouting for specific donations such as bedroom furniture and even a kitchen sink. We also placed a request for welcome baskets – filling laundry baskets with basic necessities such as pajamas, robes, slippers, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, bath soap, shampoo and conditioner, bible, devotionals and a personal journal. In the month of April, we were given insight that a rescued survivor entered The Butterfly House, our collaborative partner. We also learned several others will be coming into the home from search and rescue teams by end of May. What we prayed for was answered – your donations have helped bring to reality – a restorative home for survivors.
Our goal, this year, is to continue to build education programs– we will never be able to eradicate this problem in our lifetime – but we surely can help prevent it – by educating, empowering and engaging our community to know what is happening in their own backyard. We will focus on collaborating with partners to provide on-line and group programs with specific areas such as teachers, nurses/medical, real estate agents, businesses, truckers, maritime/travel communities. We will continue with train the trainer programs, peer-to peer trainings and speaking engagements to schools, churches, boys and girls scouts, social and civic groups such as Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, BNI and others.
But our Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) for 2020 is to bring to our community a home for minors. There is not one home for minors in the State of Virginia. We need to change this. It is my hope that you will join me in making this a reality. So that I can help you envision this – we will call this home, “Amazing Grace.” I know you think that’s a beautiful name – several have already shared that with me – but what would be more beautiful is that we have this home for minors – because some child is praying that they will be rescued soon. We need a home for them – soon. We will keep you posted as this movement takes place.
As you see, you and I, together, can make a difference – with a “New Vision.”
But we need your help, more so , in times of Corona. We need to protect our children and grandchildren. I hope that you will join us in our fight to making a difference in our own backyard. The EnJewel team would be humbled and so grateful for your support.
Be Blessed, be safe –