Make a Stand

Over the last couple of years, I have been awakened to the overwhelming issue of modern slavery. After hearing about it through organizations like End It Movement and Exodus Cry, I became more and more disturbed. Then, I saw the documentary produced by Exodus Cry’s Benjamin Nolot, Nefarious, and I started doing my own research. What I have found has been both heart-breaking and infuriating. The idea that this is affecting so many children around the world AND here in the US is even more devastating. However, I haven’t known what I can do about it other than pray and continue to support the existing organizations that are making a difference.

Recently, I heard about a little girl named Viviene Harr, an 8 year old who saw the work of photographer Lisa Kristine and committed to set herself against child slavery. Many young American children, even passionate ones, would have abandoned the cause after a few days or weeks. But Vivienne didn’t. She set up a lemonade stand and kept at it for a full 365, making $101,320 in the first 173 days. She donated her earnings to Not for Sale, a nonprofit that works to eradicate human trafficking around the world.

Now, she and her father bottle and sell lemonade through Make a Stand and she has written and published a children’s book, illustrated by her mother, called Make a Stand: When life gives you lemons, change the world! Her family’s story, and the story of child slaves in Ghana, Namibia, Nepal and the Dominican Republic has now been made into a documentary called Stand With Me. It not only alerts viewers about the problem, it also begins to open our eyes to how we are unconsciously contributing and even encouraging slavery throughout the world.

This is something that cannot be fixed in a day, but as Vivienne has shown us, one person can make a difference in this fight for freedom. Please take a few moments and check out this documentary, the photos, or some of the organizations in this article. If you have any other comments or ideas, message me on Twitter. This is not too big for us to tackle together. Every person should be free.