Trained to make a difference! Shine 2015
The first steps I took when I learned about human trafficking were small.
They involved prevention and awareness, and learning as much as I possibly could. I read books by Kevin Bales, and research by IOM, and eventually I was trained by Not For Sale. The training was just two weeks, but it was a life-changing two weeks, because reading books and research, and doing basic prevention and awareness that only took into account our local circumstances in Cape Town, meant that there was a lot of pieces missing. Doing a training, alongside others who were passionate about issues of exploitation and injustice, meant gaining connections, relationships, and a deeper understanding within the issue. Being where I am today, having been involved in so many different projects, would not have been possible if I had remained untrained and unconnected.
Which is why I wanted to feature the Shine seminar on my blog (again). It has been around for about four years now. Three seminars have taken place in Amsterdam, and one in Brazil. This spring it will be happening again here in Amsterdam and one of my favourite people, Sarah Adeyinka, will be leading it. It is a six week seminar that I highly recommend for Christians who are looking for more training and information on the sex trade and human trafficking. Many of the people who have passed through Shine have gone on to work or study more in this field, and I truly believe it gives an important perspective that balances faith, justice, and practical steps that can be taken. If this is an issue that is close to your heart, than this is a training that I recommend.
I asked Sarah* to share more about how she ended up in Amsterdam and the Shine seminar here:
“My journey to Amsterdam was definitely God planned because I had plans to be at an Addictions course internship in San Francisco during the Shine seminar. I found out about Shine, postponed my internship, and applied because I knew I HAD to be there. My own cousin was trafficked from Nigeria to Libya and was able to escape and alert the authorities before she was put to work in a brothel; so, matters of sexual assualt, trafficking, gender violence and beyond are very dear to my heart. I attended the seminar, learnt so much, questioned so much, and hated some of the answers; but I was faced with the reality of the world we live in, and decided there and then to commit to fighting injustice in an even greater capacity than I had done over the years.
Fast forward to now, I work with YWAM Amsterdam’s Lighthouse ministry which focuses on reaching the men and women trapped in the sex trade of Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District and beyond.
Many people say, ‘women in the sex trade want to be there’; and that is not a discussion I will get into right now. But I will respond with this quote:
“Prostitution will always lead into a moral quagmire in democratic societies with capitalist economies; it invades the terrain of intimate sexual relations yet beckons for regulation. A society’s response to prostitution goes to the core of how it chooses between the rights of some persons and the protection of others.”
– Barbara Meil Hobson, Uneasy Virtue
The Shine seminar is an initiative of the Lighthouse ministry of YWAM Amsterdam; it is a seminar about the global sex trade and our response as Christians.
The global sex trade grosses more than $1.2billion annually so as believers we need to wake up and wise up!!!! During the Shine seminar, we hear from formerly prostituted women and victims of human trafficking, ex-pimps/traffickers, members of the law enforcement and the government, Christians making a difference in this field, and many more. We look at what has been done, what is being done, and what else could be done; what has worked, and what hasn’t.
We ask questions, do research, and leave being empowered and informed! For more information, go to http://www.ywamamsterdam.org/training/shineseminar/ or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
N.B. This is not a seminar for just women! It is for both men AND women; men and women are part of the problem, so men and women must be part of the solution.”
– Sarah Adeyinka