Preventing Trafficking Together

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” Isaiah 61:1 (NLT)

This verse from Isaiah is the heart behind the human trafficking prevention ministry of HOPE61. And what a  privilege it was to bring this message to a group of young women in my first HOPE61 ENGAGE training! I serve as the media manager for OMS New Zealand, but in 2020, I took on an additional role as OMS New Zealand’s HOPE61 trainer. While continuing with my media work, I have also been learning about the impact that human trafficking is having in New Zealand and around the world. I have been preparing to share this with others and help them feel equipped to do what they can to help prevent this issue.

Quite a few people have told me that they didn’t think human trafficking happens in New Zealand; some didn’t know it was happening anywhere! The truth is that this issue is very active in New Zealand, a lot more than we realise. The four participants in my first training knew about trafficking but didn’t know how common it is and how often it occurs in our communities.

One of the participants, Sophie, had this to say about the training: “The HOPE61 training was awesome to be a part of! Learning about the issue of human trafficking globally but also locally really opened my eyes to what is going on in the world. What was great about the training is that we weren’t just given the facts, but we were able to discover how we can each personally contribute to preventing it. In group discussions, we talked about our gifts and passions. Then we were given time to reflect on how we could take part in human trafficking prevention in our local community. The best part was discovering I can use things I’m already passionate about to help be a part of the solution! Excited to see how this ministry grows in New Zealand!”

It’s going to take each of us doing our part to stop the demand of human trafficking.

Imogen Cook, OMS NZ Content Expert/HOPE61 Trainer