Festival-goers support anti-trafficking campaign
A Tearfund campaign which helps protect children vulnerable to trafficking received a boost at the recent Big Church Day Out
More than 1,400 festival-goers signed up to Tearfund’s No Child Taken campaign – an “amazing response” according to Tearfund’s Head of UK Church Relationships Jamie Fyleman.
Those attending the two day event at Weston House in West Sussex were asked to give the equivalent cost of two coffees a month to support No Child Taken and help end child slavery.
With all pledges to the campaign matched by generous Tearfund supporters, the charity says it can now help protect more than 5,300 children. Tearfund partners educate people to see through the lies traffickers tell. They also help them set up small businesses or improve their agricultural practices so they have an income to lift them out of extreme need.
‘It’s poverty that fuels trafficking,’ Jamie explained. ‘Children at risk of trafficking are often difficult to reach - abused, neglected, separated from their families. Tearfund is able to bring freedom to vulnerable young people by working through the local church to prevent trafficking where it begins: in poverty at the very heart of communities.’
The festival-goers were also treated to a gingerbread decorating masterclass with former Great British Bake Off contestant and charity ambassador Martha Collison (pictured).
Children and adults got stuck in with coloured icing, chocolate beans, jelly shapes and sprinkles to beautify the gingerbread people, under Martha’s guidance. While they worked on their biscuits, she chatted about her trip to Cambodia earlier this year and the No Child Taken Campaign.
‘It’s great fun to enjoy decorating gingerbread people’ said Martha ‘but we were using them to make a serious point about the increase in child trafficking. With 1.2 million children affected every year, trafficking is now the world’s fastest growing crime.’
Human trafficking reaches into every corner of the world - from South America to South East Asia. Since the devastating earthquake in Nepal, Tearfund’s church partners have been working hard to protect the increased number of vulnerable families who are most at risk.
Jamie spoke of the experience of six-year-old Meena from Nepal.
‘I met Meena after she had been rescued at the Nepal - India border. She had been abducted from her village by a stranger,’ said Jamie. ‘She was being cared for by one of Tearfund’s partner organisations and has now been reunited with her family, but her childhood could so easily have ended in an Indian brothel.’
To support and find out more about the No Child Taken campaign, visit www.tearfund.org/trafficking