January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. This is an issue that is near and dear to our hearts here at The Sacred Space. I have a few thoughts on this subject as I prepare to return to Cambodia and Thailand next week where I spent some years immersed in this international human crisis. My work before with World Concern and then the organization I founded, Freedom Stones, took me all over Southeast Asia and eventually into Africa and helped me see a big picture of how these crimes are committed on such a large scale. Thankfully I was also able to see how the problem can be mitigated and how survivors can be transformed. I have since learned that these traumas inflicted on young victims can be processed and the field of post-traumatic growth is something I am very interested in learning more about as I now use the modalities of yoga, mindfulness and meditation to help people process trauma.
Next week I will be traveling with the Young Living Foundation to bear witness to the work of Hope For Justice, an organization who works with rescued child victims of trafficking. They have some wonderful educational, psycho-social and vocational programs to rehabilitate and reintegrate survivors back into society after experiencing incredibly traumatizing events. My role for a few days will be to listen to and hold space for 37 young victims aged 12-18 and I will also be facilitating some trauma-informed yoga practices that they can use to process some of the painful emotions and memories that they carry.
The Sacred Space team is also going to be involved this year in facilitating a retreat for 1000 field workers for International Justice Mission who are on the front lines of human trafficking and other social justice issues in 19 countries of the world. Our team will be leading them in yoga and other self-care practices to ensure that they keep their bodies, minds, hearts, and spirits healthy in their mission to assist victims of some of the most heinous crimes in the world. It is difficult to work with victims day after day and often workers absorb their traumas. These workers need a lot of support.
I ask for your prayers and intentions as I embark on this trip for several weeks and as we prepare as a team to assist these two organizations in 2018 to build their capacity to restore victims as well as remain healthy workers in a very difficult field.