As many of you know, Spencer and I just graduated from Selkirk College's Contemporary Music Program on April 25th. Since it's kind of a custom to receive graduation gifts from family and friends, I thought this would be a great opportunity to raise funds for something I feel deeply passionate about: modern day slavery (particularly human trafficking and sex slavery).
Human trafficking (for those who haven't heard much about it) is defined as: "the illegal practice of procuring or trading in human beings for the purpose of prostitution, forced labour, or other forms of exploitation", according to Dictionary.com. Those trafficked are typically vulnerable young women and underaged girls, and the number of victims is increasing. Human trafficking is the second largest source of illegal income worldwide, earning 32 billion dollars annually. Even though slavery is widely accepted as having already ended, the disturbing truth is that there are more slaves now than at any time in human history.
I spoke with Spencer about my idea, and we thought it would be even more effective to pool our efforts. We both feel that we have a responsibility in making a difference with all of our freedoms and privileges, so we're using our graduation to raise funds for an amazing organization called Freedom 4/24.
Freedom 4/24 is dedicated to stopping human trafficking, helping the victims, and raising awareness for prevention. The money raised from this fundraiser goes directly to "Christine's House", a shelter in Gulu, Uganda, for victims of all kinds of sexual exploitation (rape, child marriages, trafficking, etc.). Here's the spiel from their website:
"Give freedom through your graduation! In lieu of graduation gifts, ask friends and family to help you raise funds for Freedom 4/24. It costs $116 a month for each of the 20 girls who now call Christine’s House “home.” As our Freedom 4/24’s partner in Gulu, Uganda, Christine’s House provides to these victims of human trafficking housing, food, medical care, trauma counseling, vocational training, social interaction, faith and life skills training. These monthly numbers per girl prove that YOUR simple act of fundraising can make a huge difference in the life of one."
Now, it's not that we expected any gifts in the first place, but if you were going to give anything, or even if you just want to make a difference in the lives of these abused girls, this would be the perfect opportunity. We've set a fundraising goal of 450$ and with your help, we can attain it and do something really good for these people. When it comes to graduation gifts, there is no greater gift in our minds then bringing freedom to the voiceless and care to the survivors of these atrocities, so if you're up for it, we will thank you personally on Facebook and show you how appreciative we are!
Here are some links if you want to check out Freedom 4/24's website and learn more about "Christine's House".
Please help us fight human trafficking by making a donation to Freedom 4/24 on our behalf.
Ben and Spencer
VOCATIONAL SUPPLIES: $12