...that not even one child is trafficked and any grooming situations are exposed and stopped
Most Whatcom County students began their summer break from school this week and it is sad fact of life that many young people face increased vulnerability to negative situations at this time of year.
During the school year, many students develop regular interaction and caring relationships with their teacher(s). When summer comes, that connection is broken and a number of students are on their own to navigate life's troubled waters. More hours in an unstable home situation, lack of supervision, and lack of a safe and caring adult to touch base with increases vulnerability to a host of negative situations -- including enticement to try drugs or alcohol, the lure of pornography, and instances of exploitation and abuse.
Let's pray for all children and youth of Whatcom County as well as the organizations reaching out to them with fun and safe activities:
- Royal Family Kids Camp (Bellingham) is this week, June 26 - 30.
- Rebound of Whatcom County's six week "Ray of Hope" summer day camp starts June 26 and runs through August 4.
- Numerous other quality overnight and day camps as well as Vacation Bible Schools offer children safe and nurturing environments.
Let's pray for our children to find safe harbor at these camps and activities and/or even within their neighborhood. Let's pray for intervention in any negative situation. Let's pray that not even one Whatcom County youth would be lured into trafficking this summer.
Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit www.hope4justice.org/learnmore/
Nooksack Valley Middle School Students do project on human trafficking
Pictured above: Amber H, Cassidy T, and Maya G
Three NVMS students recently completed research projects on human trafficking plus several hours of service for their "Breakout" projects. Amber and Maya presented information to their peers about sex trafficking of minors and Cassidy earned $200 to donate to Engedi Refuge Ministries.
Amber said, "I did a lot of research and I learned a lot about trafficking and myself. One thing that was interesting and surprising is that human trafficking is everywhere, even close to us. Also how much it happens. It's really sad and heartbreaking."
Maya commented, "I learned a lot about human trafficking during Breakout. Something that struck me the most was when I learned stories about real trafficking victims/survivors...it made me want to make a difference."
Well done, ladies! Your efforts make a difference!
For educators and/or anyone who works with children:
DSHS is offering trainings on "RESPONDING TO THE SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH"
FREE trainings will provide information on the what, who, how, and why of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth.
Morning session (9am-12pm)
- Discussion of the topic
- Identification and “red flags”
- Overview of local intervention resources.
Afternoon session (1pm-4pm)
- Safety planning
- Direct service to survivors of exploitation
- How CSEC uniquely affects male identifying youth.
August Option: 8/10/2017 at St Luke’s Educational Center 3333 Squalicum Pwky, Bellingham, WA 98225.
Morning Session is 9am-12 noon. (register here)
Afternoon Session is 1pm - 4 pm. (register here)
Note: Additional scheduled trainings are 10/19/17 and 12/14/17 if you're not able to attend in August.
Hope4Justice public meetings are from 7-8:30 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264.
Directions: From Wiser Lake roundabout head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the second building on the left