A few weeks ago, I felt the need to write an article about customer service, and when I was looking for information on a search engine I came across an interesting article. This was written by someone called Geoff Hudson-Searle.
For some reason, I ended up doing a search to find out more about him. I had a look through his business profile and, before long; he had a look through my profile and sent me a friend request.
It Didn’t Take Long
Soon after, we arranged to meet for coffee, and this was a time when I was trying to get my head around it all. I found it hard to understand how I was simply reading an article at one point in time and at another, I was arranging to meet the person who wrote the article.
He was a managing director of a company that helps businesses to succeed and he had written a few books. I was surprised that someone like this would take the time to meet me.
A Fulfilling Encounter
When we got together, I spoke about what I wrote about and the kind of experiences that I have had, and he went into the reasons why he wrote his books and the kind of experiences that he has had.
The first book he wrote was called ‘Freedom After the Sharks’ and this was followed by ‘Meaningful Conversations’. It soon become clear that he was down to earth and only too happy to assist me in any way that he could.
During this time, he mentioned someone called Colin Smith and another person called Andrew Zsigmond. He believed that I would enjoy meeting them and that they would enjoy meeting me.
Colin was seen as someone who I had a lot in common with, and this was partly due to the fact that he knew how important it was to listen to people. Andrew, on the other hand, was a development director for an organisation that Geoff had supported for a number of years.
This was an international human rights non-profit organisation with a mission to end Child Trafficking and Exploitation and to provide services for the children it affects. I had heard about child trafficking in the media and I had heard about it in films, but that was about it.
However, although I didn’t know much about child trafficking, I had experienced child abuse and I had written about it, too. So, I thought that it would be interesting to meet Andrew and to find out more about what this organisation does.
The Time Came
Before I met Andrew, I did wonder what it would be like to meet someone who works in this kind of area. I soon came to see that he was easy to talk to and that he wanted to hear more about the kind of things that I write about.
As he spoke more about what this organisation does, it become clear to me how important this work is. Then again, if I had a different upbringing, it might not have had the same effect on me.
I asked Andrew to give me a rough idea of what this organisation does, and this is what he had to say.
More than a third of all trafficking victims in the UK are children. These are young people that are forced to work nail bars, as domestic servants, as sex slaves or forced to cultivate and sell drugs. They are trafficked in from various places around the globe with promises of a better life, of jobs and of security. But in reality this is the opposite of what they end up getting. They incur debt to the traffickers for the supposed cost of their journey to a better future, and they are forced to pay this back at impossible rates, essentially becoming enslaved. They work in horrendous and often brutal conditions, under coercion and threat.
This is an issue that is plaguing the UK. All across the country, in villages, town and cities these young people are exploited right under our noses. If we are not aware of their existence, we will often walk right by them, having no idea of the exploitation they endure; having no frame of reference. Love146 wants to ensure that we do know about this issue, that we can have it firmly “on our radar”, and that we can intervene when we see this happening. These children need our help, our advocacy and our intervention, without which their futures are terribly bleak.
Love146 is an international human rights organisation. Their vision is the end of child trafficking and exploitation. Nothing less. They provide education to the public about the impact of this issue on our communities. They provide safe and secure accommodation where children who have been trafficked and abused are protected from further exploitation. They provide wrap-around care from skilled practitioners, carers and social workers, to offer them protection and a place where they can recover from their abuse without the danger of being re-trafficked. They empower exploited children to grow towards independence and reclaim their future.
The website, for anyone who wants to learn more about the work of Love146 and support their efforts, is www.love146.org.uk.