Mar 28

Combatting Human Trafficking: A Quarter in Review

Avuxeni, greetings to you!

We are coming to the end of the 1st quarter of the year. My goodness how time flies. It seems like only last week I greeted the new year! We have had a lot of challenges to face this quarter, mainly with the service delivery strikes because this year is election year and there is a lot of instability happening politically. What is also happening is the incidence of children being kidnapped as part of a human trafficking operation in village areas where children are unattended and allowed to roam the streets without supervision.

It is a desperate time in which to live. South Africa is a source, destination, and transit country for human trafficking. The forms of human trafficking found in South Africa include sex trafficking, child labour, domestic servitude, organ smuggling, child-brides (ukuthwala), illegal child adoptions, debt-bondage, forced surrogacy, and the use of body parts for muti (traditional medicine). The majority of human trafficking cases involve sex trafficking, while labour trafficking cases are limited. Traffickers often send South African women to Europe and Asia, where some end up having to work in prostitution, domestic service or drug smuggling. It is estimated that there are millions of victims, though only about 50–100,000 cases are found each year. Sadly, three children have disappeared from the villages where we work this week.

The training we have been implementing such as Journey of Life, many of our parents are now attending district events we organize, even our weekly group meetings and escort their children to and from the meeting points. We are also working with the Induna’s to spread the word to raise awareness and make it more difficult for these people to access children in our villages.

The communities through the SHG groups have been informed of the need to monitor their children carefully and be on the lookout for strangers. The SHG’s are mobilizing in their communities to ensure people are aware of trafficking. This is because the kids are on school holidays and much more accessible, it breaks my heart. I cannot imagine losing my eight-year-old to some trafficker.

Because of you, we have been able to put in place safeguards for our kids, but there are so many other kids at risk. It is even more urgent that we continue to enlarge our foot print and make our communities safer. We also run a program with the children themselves calling on the children to be alert and active to their surroundings, making sure if they go anywhere they go in 3s so that one can run and get help. Our older kids escort the younger unaccompanied children home at the end of the program.

These are just a few measures we have put in place to protect our kids. You have enabled this, thank you so much, if you would like to support a Journey of Life Training, it isn’t cheap but what is the price of a life? If you can’t afford to support a whole training, please any amount will help us protect our kids. We have an institutional donor who is also supporting us and sponsoring 17trainings, however the more we can get the word out, the safer our kids will be.

Thank you for being so responsive. You have saved lives. I wish this report was a lot more upbeat and less serious, if you pray, please do ask God to protect all of our kids, I feel like we are in a battle with pure evil.

Thank you so much