The whole room was deafeningly quiet and we were stuck in the thick stillness. The video projector had shut off but no one stood up to leave. We all sat there with our thoughts and feelings that held a strange weight of guilt. The short film that had just ended told a story of a girl…a story of many girls and children in the world.
Many people think that slavery was abolished many years ago. I used to think the same thing. Little did I know that modern day slavery is raging on. The dark room was lit up by the projection screen and we saw the stories of young girls who were forced to be sex slaves in brothels, children who were forced to make bricks for sixteen hours a day, and other types of forced labor and sexual trade. There we were in an air conditioned room with comfortable chairs and dressed in our Sunday best.
I knew deep down that everything had changed for me. I knew that something had to be done for these people and it was my responsibility to be a voice for the voiceless and bring hope to the hopeless. Fires were lit and passions were stirred up among us and we began to rally together for something bigger than ourselves. Car washes and fundraisers were started and our mission was to set the slaves free through an organization called International Justice Mission. The days were long and painstakingly hot but we pressed on for the children who labor harder than we ever will every day. Weaved into all the sponges, suds, and splashes was love… a love so deep for people we will probably never even meet. We raised eight thousand dollars all together. That amount of money released eight girls from a brothel and sixteen people from forced labor.
I never gave justice or injustice a second thought before that morning. I never knew that such things happened in our world today. I never knew that a group of students could make a difference for people across the world. I believe in justice. I believe we can make a difference in our world.
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