What I have learned at STOP THE TRAFFIK
For the last 4 months I have been the Communications and Operations Intern for STOP THE TRAFFIK. When I was younger and first heard about the work of STOP THE TRAFFIK, they were running campaigns to encourage consumers to buy ethically, to buy Fairtrade and to use their purchasing power for good. It is partly due to STOP THE TRAFFIK that I began to, and continue, to live by this principle.
When I came for my interview I still thought this was what STOP THE TRAFFIK did. Instead, in the interview my colleague Mark painted a picture for me of the greater power that we all have to end human trafficking, not only as consumers but as members of society, as participants in our community; as people.
My internship at STOP THE TRAFFIK has been filled with amazing experiences. I have had the opportunity to hone my existing skills in social media, and public speaking, as well as adding to my repertoire, helping to run an event and absorbing the wisdom of those around me.
My favourite moment in my time here happened while I was at a college, speaking to the students about human trafficking and the work that we do. While there I was asked why I thought such events are important. I found myself giving an impassioned speech about the importance of informing and empowering young people. I told the interviewer that, when I was young and heard about human trafficking, I felt that there was nothing I could do. I now want to help other young people to know that this is not true. We all have a part to play.
My work here has given me a greater understanding of the power in coming together in this fight.
Passion is powerful
I am a passionate person. I know what it looks like to believe in something with all you are, and all you have. But, working at STOP THE TRAFFIK, and hearing the story of how it began has helped me to understand, not only how wonderful passion is, but how powerful it is.
It was the passion of just a handful of people that led to STOP THE TRAFFIK’s creation. It is because of their passion that people all over the world now know what trafficking is, who would not have known otherwise. It is due to their passion that communities across the globe have the tools to recognise, report and address trafficking where they are. It is as a result of a few people’s passion that the world is a better place now than it was before STOP THE TRAFFIK existed.
I know now that my passion can be just as powerful and make just a big of a difference as theirs did; that I can change the world.
Passion is limited
On the other hand, my work with STOP THE TRAFFIK has also taught me more about the limitations of passion. It is not enough to have good intentions and be enthusiastic about making a change. Truly making a difference requires commitment, skill, expertise and a willingness to learn and change.
It is because STOP THE TRAFFIK is willing to do things that no one has done before and try to tackle human trafficking through intelligence-led prevention that they have been able to make changes.
Passion is essential, it is the engine, but it is not enough. If we want to end human trafficking we need to be smarter, braver and more intelligent than the traffickers. This is what I have learned at STOP THE TRAFFIK. This is where our power comes from.