Human Trafficking Team
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Las Vegas, a local non-profit that has been active in our city for 15 years, has joined the effort to combat human trafficking. Their approach to the issue follows the five-fold acronym of "DREAM":
- Direct services
- Education & Awareness
These five key strategies allow anyone interested in taking action on this issue to get involved and make a difference. The goal of YWAM (pronounced "Why – Wham") is to partner with other organizations who specialize in one or more of these areas to support and channel people and resources to each of them through a city-wide network of contacts.
Richard Thompson, their Executive Director says: "We believe that a movement is beginning and change is possible. As we begin to educate our public school students, college groups, churches and families about this issue, we can begin to alert our citizens on what to look out for and how to be proactive and take part in the initiative by getting involved. Ignorance and apathy are our biggest enemies in this fight and if we can eliminate them, then the battle truly can be won in our city and in our nation."
As an international organization, YWAM believes that they can draw people and resources from around the world to aid in the effort here in Las Vegas as well equipping people to combat human trafficking abroad. We conduct a three-month abolitionist training in which college aged young people learn about, engage in, and contribute to this movement locally. Afterwards they immediately apply their training in a 10-week outreach engaging in "DREAM"–related activities in nations such as India, Nepal, and Thailand.
Last year our students were able to experience first-hand the destructive cycle of human trafficking. They arrived in Mumbai, India and volunteered amongst the trafficked sex-workers and their children in one of the largest red-light districts in Asia. From there they were able to conduct educational and awareness tours through the villages in Nepal where a majority of these prostitutes had been abducted and or trafficked from. Thompson says, "It is hard to believe but in some of these Nepali villages you could literally not find a female over the age of thirteen, as it is from that age on that they are taken".
"We need your support in this initiative though — it is impossible for us to do it alone. You can make a difference, you can change your city and you can save a life."