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Kids in Portland Meet their Hero on Anti-Slavery Day

There are nearly 30 million slaves today—that’s more than at any other time in history, including the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Since 2010, the UK has dedicated October 18 as anti-slavery day, to acknowledge this massive reality and encourage young people to end slavery once and for all.

This video made our day—and it shows young people making a difference:

A Symbol Of Hope

A group of families from Washington and Oregon made this video after they received a letter from an IJM Senior Investigator about child slavery in Ghana.

The kids, some as young as 6, wrote letters back to the IJM investigator who had opened their eyes to the fact that boys and girls their same age are forced to work as slaves instead of getting to go to school and take a summer break.

“I was practically in tears when I watched the video and read the letters,” said the IJM investigator. He now keeps these hand-written letters with colorful drawings in a binder at his desk. “We see so much darkness in our work, so I’m always looking for symbols of hope. These kids gave me a ray of hope, a symbol I can remember. It keeps me going and makes we want to work all the harder towards rescue.”

Using What They Have

The kids in the video were part of two book clubs organized by parents in the Portland area. They met separately as fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, to talk about injustice in the world and how they can respond.

When one of the mothers in the book group got the letter from IJM’s investigator, she knew this was a chance for the kids to respond.

Watch an interview with these inspiring kids in Portland:

Over the summer, the families raised awareness and money for IJM’s work around the world through this creative campaign. (You can still donate!)

“As adults, a huge problem like slavery gets into our minds and gets lost. There is so much we are thinking about in the world,” says IJM’s investigator.

He adds that we should take our cues from young people: “A young person just gets it. They heard about something that is wrong, and they decided to take action. They’re using what they and moving forward.”

Inspired and want to start your own campaign? Go here!

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