doTERRA Wellness Advocate, Jenny Childs, was working for the U.S. Government in a fairly successful career, when she attended a Leadership Summit in 2008 that inspired her to devote herself to a meaningful cause. She had a deep desire to make a difference in people’s lives, so she searched for a cause that needed her help.
Jenny soon found herself learning about the horrific realities of human trafficking in the modern age. As she learned about this problem, she felt compelled to do more than just read about the issue—she wanted to be more directly involved. With a desire to learn more, Jenny traveled to Uganda to visit The Zion Project. This international non-profit aims to help women and young girls who have been caught in the global sex trade, particularly in war-torn communities. During her visit, Jenny met a group of girls ranging from ages 6-17, who were rescued from trafficking.
The physical and psychological effects of human trafficking are often intense and long-lasting for victims. Typically, victims suffer from sexually transmitted diseases or urinary tract infections, and other infectious diseases like hepatitis and pneumonia, caused by unsanitary living conditions. Aside from physical damage, victims also deal with psychological trauma including anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.1
After meeting these girls, Jenny was most impressed by their hope. Despite the horrifying circumstances they came from, they now embraced the fact that they had been rescued and were free to be little girls. Rather than letting their circumstances dictate their happiness, they attended school—hoping to change their world for the better.
When she returned home from Uganda, Jenny attended the Justice Conference where she met someone from the Faith Alliance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST). FAAST is a strategic alliance of Christian organizations who work together to fight against slavery and human trafficking. Although Jenny didn’t have any prior experience in this field, she had skills that could help FAAST with their work. For the next few years, she worked with FAAST on awareness projects designed to build public support and educate communities.
After working with FAAST, Jenny moved to West Virginia where she was fortunate to meet a few women who shared her vision for putting an end to trafficking. Together, these women developed the Freedom Fighters of the Eastern Panhandle. According to Jenny, there is a lack of awareness when it comes to this issue in West Virginia. Due to a lack of reporting and documentation, many incidents of trafficking are overlooked.
The goal of the Freedom Fighters is to raise awareness. They hold public events to educate and involve the community and work with local university and police forces to help regulate this problem. Though the work isn’t easy, Jenny and her colleagues know that any small change is a victory that will bring them closer to ending the tragic global problem of human trafficking.