Every 30 seconds, someone becomes a victim of modern-day slavery.
It’s these startling facts that have prompted a group of Northern Illawarra women to band together to raise money to help stop human trafficking.
Under the banner of ‘Be Her Freedom Illawarra’ the team is gearing up for their second gala event which will be held at Coledale Rainforest Retreat on Saturday November 7.
200 local women will come together in this amazing setting, tucked under the escarpment, to raise money which will be used by the A21 Organisation to help put an end to human slavery.
Organisers Melanie Jolley from Austinmer and Wombarra’s Lisa Brooke organised the inaugural Be Her Feedom Illawarra event last year, raising $17,000, which was sent to Thailand and used by A21 to further their work in prevention, protection, partnerships and prosecution.
Be Her Freedom is the brainchild of Hobart’s Melody Towns. Melody was attending a conference, where one of the speakers had fallen victim to human trafficking and had been badly disfigured by her captor. Reconstructive surgery cost $3000, which is out of reach for most victims, should they manage to escape.
Melody was so touched by the plight of these women she decided to take action, and established the Be Her Freedom organisation. As luck would have it, Melody went to school with Austinmer’s Melanie Jolley, who was similarly affected by the plight of women sold, or stolen into slavery.
So Mel, and Wombarra’s Lisa Brooke organised the inaugural Be Her Freedom Illawarra event last year, raising $17,000, which was sent to Thailand and used by A21 to further their work in prevention, protection, partnerships and prosecution.
Lisa says the aim of the night is to educate people about what’s going on, what trafficking really looks like, and of course, to have a good time.
“We are bringing together a bunch of regular local girls,” says Lisa, “who as a group, can make a significant difference in the lives of other women who are the victims of slavery and human trafficking. We’re calling this event ‘Let Courage Bloom’, to encourage people to come together and step out of their comfort zones for a greater cause.”
The ‘Be Her Freedom‘ campaign began in Hobart and now extends across Australia, with every local event raising money for A21.
Be Her Freedom Illawarra’s ‘Let Courage Bloom’ will feature live music, dancing, and a live artist, who will create a beautiful artwork to be auctioned on the night. There will also be amazing speakers who will share some of their first-hand knowledge of the reality of human trafficking around the world.
Tickets for the event go on sale early next week. Book yours HERE