By Karen Karpinski, Director of Education
During the month of June our two interns, Kamrie Reid and Allie Bergeron, worked with the Center for Student Missions, as well as several independent churches, training 76 minors between the ages of 11-17. They will continue this work in July. Our goal is to teach youth to recognize the traps that traffickers use to lure them into the human trafficking industry, to provide them with resources in their communities for issues like abuse and trauma that make them vulnerable to exploitation, to empower them to share this information with their peers, and to be safe. Sabrina Jewell also introduced the new “Under 11 Training” for ten local youngsters so that as they enter their most vulnerable years they are equipped to protect themselves as well.
The demand for younger and younger victims is alarming both in the United State and around the world. If we ever hope to stop the egregious crime of exploitation of children, training of both children and their caregivers is vital. We believe that preventing the trafficking of minors is so much better and more effective than rescuing and restoring survivors once trafficked.
The BeTheJam website is the first of many aspects of our prevention program available to all youth. ESTN’s intervention specialist and a counselor provides ten-week intensive programs for girls in residential settings. And a new program will teach boys to become responsible young men, helping to reduce the demand. Both of these programs are aimed at most at-risk youth in our communities. We are very fortunate that volunteer Alissa Shear has elected to shoulder the role of Prevention Leader and is currently working with schools, community organizations and government officials to introduce these prevention program, joining with us as partners to save our youth.
If you are interested in youth prevention for the youth of your community or you would like to help prevent the trafficking of minors contact us through the form on our website or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our youth are the future. It’s everyone’s responsibility to keep them safe from exploitation.