Sometimes a good media piece says it all.
TCD Video … very moving …
200 women came walking through the breezeway at 10:00am into an old building in Kolkata(Calcutta), India. During the time just before their day of work at the clothing center, it came in a strong grip to me … these women were actually “saved”, saved from the slavery of the sex trade industry. Photography and interviews were forbidden due to all types of risks to these women and those helping them. We were however allowed to speak openly with the leadership, in this one of seven organizations we the GHNI team investigated for our TCD work in the “source” villages these women came from. Words cannot describe how sobering it was. Most trickery and deception comes when the girls are hardly or not at all in puberty. Within a ½-mile radius of our location, there were 20,000 women in prostitution, with 40,000 clients each night. The 200 women in front of us seemed so few in comparison.
Back from Kolkata(Calcutta), India … where half of our trip was invested in building relationships and a deeper understanding of how GHNI can assist and work alongside people and organizations already involved in anti-human trafficking. “Sober” is putting it extremely lightly, as we the team of three began to delve into and more deeply understand this devastating and complex work among a diverse group of organizations and philosophies pressing into these needs. Photography and personal interviews were simply not allowed; and for many-MANY good reasons. It was an experience I will never forget! Please note picture is blurred for privacy issues.
The White Man’s Burden, the book has some insight into what we in GHNI are talking about when it addresses the “Planner” versus the “Searcher”.
Quote: “In foreign aid, Planners announce good intentions but don’t motivate anyone to carry them out; Searchers find things that work and get some reward(for recipients – my add). Planners raise expectations but take no responsibility for meeting them; Searchers accept responsibility for their actions. Planners determine what to supply; Searchers find out what is in demand. Planners apply global blueprints; Searchers adapt to local conditions. Planners at the top lack knowledge of the bottom; Searchers find out what reality is at the bottom.”
GHNI is constantly pursuing that “bottom”, that true need, that which is most helpful in self-sustainability and transforming lives. Embracement, personal embracement of change, and using all local relationships and resources, all go hand in hand. This can never happen in a top-down(bottom) approach.
Searcher … is who we are and how we do it.
During our last trip to India, we interviewed several GHNI-India colleagues who work in villages where coal is processed. In one of our interviews, he described how he works directly with children of one of the lowest castes. The children from the villages would steal coal from trains as they passed through their villages, putting their young lives at great risk to gain a very small sum of money. This photo and its link reminded me of this particular interview and our work in India to help these children out of this cycle. Though not a GHNI link per se, it portrays well the lives we work with there in Jharkhand, India.