It’s the beginning of the third year of a global pandemic, and many of us are coping with the Omicron wave. It feels like so many are getting hit with this one. Even if you and your family have so far managed to escape COVID, you likely know others who haven’t been so lucky. It’s a long time to go through upheaval and a long time without a sense of normalcy–only a continual attempt to ride whatever wave of “new normal” we face.
But…traffickers don’t stop, even in the face of a pandemic. So…
What does a commitment to freedom and to doing whatever we can to help end child trafficking look like in a time of such global and personal upheaval?
Obviously, the answer to this question will vary by individual circumstances and how much time, energy, and other resources we can bring to bear. Some of us may feel energized about refreshing our efforts in the new year; others may be feeling the struggle more deeply.
However, wherever you are in this journey, we’d like to offer three guiding principles–reminders, really–that might help you in your commitment to helping bring an end to trafficking and child exploitation.
Principle 1: Keep Learning
Whether through books, podcasts, social media posts, news articles, or email newsletters, there’s always something more we can learn about such a complex phenomenon as human trafficking. It’s where the rubber hits the road on so many issues of mutual concern: from climate change to national security, social inequities to economics, homelessness to immigration, physical health and safety to child welfare and mental health, and so much more.
Especially with social media or newsletters, there are easy ways to stay connected in regular, manageable bites. Subscribing to informative feeds is a great way to fold your commitment to ending child trafficking into your lifestyle. The knowledge you gain can help you make informed decisions as a consumer of products and information.
So many myths and misconceptions abound about child trafficking. Stay protected and also share what you’ve learned, to protect others from misinformation!
Principle 2: Keep It Sustainable
When it comes to trying to impact something as big as child trafficking, slow and steady wins the race. Consider ways you can contribute that are manageable over time. Is that a monthly contribution? Or maybe twice a year or yearly? Or does it look like helping out a few hours a week?
Whatever means you have of contributing, at whatever level, is all valuable. Avoid burnout, and rest assured that your commitment is strong by prioritizing what’s regular yet sustainable–whatever that looks like for you.
Principle 3: Keep It Joyful
If it’s not joyful, that could be a sign that you’re not taking the time you need to rest and recuperate. Remember, it’s okay to take time to refill your own tank. For most of us, it’s much easier to give when we’re not ourselves running on empty. Invest in self-care–whether that means taking time to rest and have fun or something more profound, like seeking help from a counselor or therapist to navigate life’s challenges. All of it can help you stay fueled as you contribute to a positive impact.
There’s lots of research that shows that giving to others helps boost our own mental and emotional well-being. Contributing positively and sustainably not only helps protect at-risk children. It brings benefits to all of us!
Here’s to another year of advancing freedom. We’re so grateful to have you alongside us!