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Battling Bec

Published:
16/09/2016
Author:
Think Local

Like most young people her age, 23-year loves fashion, music and art - but what sets this Mosman resident apart from her contemporaries is her passion to rid the world of injustice and her commitment to eradicating modern-day slavery.

   As a year 12 student she began volunteering for Project Futures, a Sydney-based anti-human trafficking organisation, and through this she arranged events, marathons and cycling challenges raising money and becoming the charity's first 'international representative'.

  “That year I took part in a cycling challenge through Cambodia and I met survivors of the sex slave trade - mostly young women - and it had a profound effect on me,” she tells North Shore Living.

   “We cycled about 800 kms from Vietnam to Cambodia and spent time at rescue centres where these incredible young women told us their stories of survival. Some had even been sold into the sex slave trade by their families at the age of five or six years of age.”

   Project Futures aims to empower individuals to take action on this issue, raising awareness and funds in fun and easy ways within their own community.

  CEO, Stephanie Lorenzo, says those in the organisation “thrive on raw passion and motivation for a cause beyond simply giving money. We want people to take an active role in changing the world we live in.”

  Bac has started her own movement called Max Ailey, channeling her fundraising through an on-line clothing store, where all profits from sales go directly to projects and safe houses organised by Project Futures - especially In Cambodia.

  “We rely heavily on social media and this is the way we are connecting and mobilising the next generation of leaders and world changers,” She says.

“We want to make a difference in what we are doing."

    Tragically, according to the US Department of State's report on trafficked persons, Australia is a primary destination for women and girls subject to this abhorrent practice, together with arranged marriages and domestic servitude.

  These women and girls are being brought in from South East Asia, Eastern Europe, China Korea and Thailand. The Australian Federal Police confirm that 'human trafficking, slavery and other practices like servitude are complex crimes and major violations of human rights."

   “Many of the girls I have met who have been rescued had promises of Jobs that led to them being enslaved," Ms Burrows confirms. "Many were Cambodian and it's horrific to hear their stories."

   She says what motivates her is to see the changes that can be made when justice prevails and the women are rescued.

  “They are very resilient and are empowered to make changes themselves, It makes us want to do more to help them achieve this.”

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