About

Hello my friend and welcome.

IDC_5203Most likely you are here because you want to learn more about human trafficking.

Although it may be that you’ve been wrestling with faith, freedom, and the many injustices in our world and have come looking for a kindred spirit in the department of heavy hearts.

It is possible you were drawn in by my terrible grammar and run-on sentences… Or perhaps you’re lurking around because your just curious about Saskia.

Whatever the reason, I am glad you’ve stopped by. I think you will find a little bit of everything, from an exploration of serious injustices to mundane rambling as I share my heart through this space.

The important things you should know:

I am not organised, not a good sleeper, and not a multi-tasker, thank goodness I am a problem solver.

I love my country of birth (Canada), drinking coffee, creating beautiful things, and Cape Town (which was my home from 2008 – July 2011). Most of the time my thoughts are lost in some rather tragic story, which is why I am compelled to write things down and try to fit my thoughts into a faith that was never meant to be confined to a computer screen.

I miss the mountains, snowboarding, surfing, and all things natural as I make my way in a European city I never expected to call my home.

The bio:

Saskia comes with several years experience in taking action against human trafficking; from prevention, to identification, to intervention, to the designing of new futures. She has developed the ability to articulate the complexities of modern-slavery while staying true to her passion for individual freedom. She assisted in the founding of Not For Sale’s social ventures in both South Africa and the Netherlands and currently works in Amsterdam on an innovative social enterprise that seeks to empower vulnerable women through training and community. She is a social media addict – she tweets, she blogs, she tumbles, and she even occasionally answers emails.

You can read more about our project in Amsterdam here 

And while you are reading – I am writing once a month over at SheLoves Magazine, a community of women I am honoured to be a part of.

And yes, I am working with and writing for several organisations specifically around issues related to human trafficking and exploitation, but the views expressed in this blog are my own, and do not represent any organisation.

 

 
Comments
29 Responses to “About”
  1. Felicia says:

    Hi Saskia, I go to school with Ryder, and today I happened to mention that I was writing a paper on human trafficking! So he immediately told me to check out your blog. I think you’re awesome🙂

  2. justsaskia says:

    Hey thanks girl! So good to hear that you are using your assignment to learn more about this issue!

    If you have any questions about H.T. or the situation in Canada, please send me an email and I will do my best to get you some answers:)

    All the best,

    Sas

  3. Hey, Respect for the work done!
    Sometimes with all the bad stuff that happens everyday its hard to remember there are still good people in the world.
    Keep restoring peoples faith in humanity🙂

  4. Chrissy says:

    You have an incredible heart! Keep up the good work. I’d like to follow this blog.

  5. Emily Adele says:

    I love your simple love and honesty. Just followed a link to your post “We are all the same” and I am now a fan. I look forward to following your journey via this blog! Blessings of peace and joy to you!

  6. justsaskia says:

    @Chrissy & @Emily Adele, thank you for your kind words and welcome to following this crazy journey! xoxo

  7. Maryla Webb says:

    I love your writing and I have gotten really into the topic or issue of sex trafficking/ prostitution, etc. It started about 1 month ago when I saw about 4 documentaries in a row on CSNBC. I have now searched and searched the internet, and read and read, and I am just sick at what is happening around the world So much to be done! Does Not For Sale hire very many people? How did you get hired? (I used to do international environmental consulting; but have been working for the State of Alabama Environmental Management for 9 years. In one more year I will be vested and I want to do international work again.) What is the pay like? How do you get these women out of these situations? Are there places for them to go? You can’t just walk right in and take them. How did you help transport the women in your car? Do you work closely with law enforcement? (I have heard sometime they are part of the problem.) Maryla in Alabama

    • justsaskia says:

      @Maryla – thanks for reading the blog! I worked as a volunteer for a couple of years before I was in an official position and you definitely don’t do it for the pay, I still raise financial support overseas. But I would recommend attending some of Not For Sale’s training academies (http://www.nfsacademy.org/) and perhaps look at doing an immersion trip with them overseas or something! There are so many opportunities to be involved you just have to find where you fit.

      I definitely never ever advocate for people to go into a situation where they are assisting trafficking victims hands on without the backing and support of trained professionals. I had three years experience working in Cape Town and a very close partnership with law enforcement and any contact with trafficked persons was at their request:). The team I worked with was great but definitely we must always be wise, even when dealing with those in official positions!

      Hope that answers your questions
      X

  8. Saskia. I just noticed day before yesterday that you had answered me, and I spent a long time replying then lost it right before I was going to hit submit. I hope it doesn’t happen this time! I think you are a wonderful writer, and I appreciated your personal story (although I understand why you didn’t really give any details). I want to blog too. I spent alot of time recently answering some guys whose attitudes I just couldn’t understand. We were all commenting on a newspaper article in the Seattle Times regarding the fact that Attorney General McKenna and 45 other attorney generals of various states had written backpage.com to tell them to shut-down their escort section, as it was blatantly for prostitution, and frequently for the prostitution of underage girls. I put so much into it, that it could well be my first blogs. I did start a blog once, but haven’t been keeping it up. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2016066045_backpage01m.html (If you see comments section: I am marlaeliz)

    I will try to go the nex Academy in Atlanta. Thanks for letting me know. (I live in Alabama.)

    I have several questions about your last paragraph though. I think I need more details about how it all works exactly, how Not For Sale helps trafficked victims. I am confused about your statement that you never had any contact with trafficked persons except at their request. I would think that any person being trafficked would just living for the day that they would be rescued. (read this article: http://www.wate.com/story/15381013/2-women-rescued-from-tennessee-sex-trafficking-ring — it talks how excited the girls were to see the police, they kept asking the johns to help them and NO ONE WOULD!!! I just can’t believe there are so many sick people.)

    Don’t yall rescue women? with the help of local law enforcement or other professional right? If not, what exactly do yall do, or did you do, or are you doing now? And what do you mean by even dealing with officials, one must be wise. Are you finding a lot of corruption? Is is dangerous? I hope you don’t mind all these questions. I have been on NOT for SALE site, and still don’t know what a “field agent” would be involved in day to day.

    Thanks so much! I want to get involved locally, and it is hard to know where to start. I look at backpage.com, even in Montgomery, alabama, and there are HUNDREDS of ADS!!!! Many, many looking very young, but even without that aspect, I wonder how many have violent pimps or are being trafficked.

  9. justsaskia says:

    Hey girl, wow loads of questions here. Do you mind dropping me an email saskia [@] notforsalecampaign.org ? I can take some time to go a bit more indepth!

    Just to clarify on one thing, where I said we didn’t have contact without request — I mean without the request of law enforcement or service providers. Our situation in South Africa was very unique, we were very hands on, but always under the guidance of professionals. I would never encourage someone to just step into a situation, in particular with a victim of sex trafficking, without some training, and without a plan and the support of the pros!

    And definitely I would encourage you to do an academy! Looking forward to an email!

    Thanks,

    Saskia

  10. Anita Birinyi says:

    Dear Saskia,

    I am wondering if you have any contact in Hungary? Is there anything I may help to you? I am thinking to do something for help the ones who need for a while…I use to follow organizations like Not for sale Champaign, Rescue Her…to see how to manage the problems, what can we do for help. Please contact me if you have any idea, plan, etc.. also I can send you about my life, aims… Maybe there is a way we can work together.

    Kind Regards:
    Anita Birinyi

    • justsaskia says:

      Hi Anita,

      My colleague here in the Netherlands has many contacts in Hungary. She has also done extensive research on Hungarian women working in the Red Light District. Of course we are always looking for more ways to improve our work in Eastern Europe!

      Why don’t you drop me an email saskia [@] notforsalecampaign.org and let me know a little more about yourself and what you are thinking!
      🙂

  11. sandy says:

    Hey there,

    I have been reading your blogs and I want to commend you for the work that you do. I’m from South Africa and I’m appauled about the issue of trafficking of women and children. I want to be part of this generation that implements change in our country and I was hoping that you would give me contacts of the people you worked with in the anti-trafficking campaigns in South Africa.

  12. BH says:

    Thank you for the work that you are doing. It’s so meaningful and, unfortunately, necessary. I’m a survivor of human trafficking, and, I’ll confess, one’s life is forever changed after being trafficked. For the record, however, there’s life on the other side. Shalom to you and all your friends in the field. Strength and peace be yours.

    • justsaskia says:

      “There is life on the other side”! Yes! Thank you for your courage to survive, comment, and be a voice joining in the journey for freedom. It means a lot to receive encouragement from you!

  13. Jocelyn Fornwald says:

    I have a few questions for you Saskia, but don’t know how to contact you. You can email me at jmcjannet [at] hotmail [dot] com and maybe we can connect that way.

  14. Olivia Terry says:

    Saskia,
    I work for a non profit organization based in Birmingham, AL called Make Way Partners. We work to prevent and combat human trafficking in Peru, Sudan (north and south), Congo, and Romania. Right now we have a shelter in Romania for women who have been trafficked. We have come across a situation that we are seeking assistance with. I have called Not For Sale and left 2 voicemails and an email. I have not hear anything back and am trying see who I can contact. Will you please email me when you get this so I can tell you what is going on?
    Thank you and God bless.

    • justsaskia says:

      Hi Olivia, I don’t see your email address – can you email me saskia (@) notforsalecampaign.org and we can connect! I apologise that no one has replied to you yet. Will look for your email. Thanks – Saskia

  15. Hi Saskia, I’m not exactly sure how I found your blog, I think it was through a retweet of a mutual follower or something. But Your story and your heart has my full attention. I have some immediate questions on multiple levels. Please check out my sites to get a little bit of an idea of some of what I do and what is in my heart by clicking on my name here and checking the blog. And you can scroll down to the bottom of the main page for a link to the public Facebook page too, which has more. Let me know if I may get those questions to you. Thank you, God bless you sister. Looking forward to checking out your blog more when I get a chance to sit down and actually read…

    • justsaskia says:

      Hey! Thanks so much for your encouragement and feedback, would love to hear what your questions are – feel free to send me an email: saskiacw @ gmail.com I will also check out your blog and all the rest!!

  16. DeeMarie says:

    I love what your team is up to Saskia, and I certainly love your heart to help!! If there could be any room for me to serve or learn more about your Romania team, I’ll be just around the corner in Moldova Beginning of Life- (a rehabilitation program for victims of trafficking) this spring and would love to check out what your team is up to!

    • justsaskia says:

      Hey! Thanks for the comment and encouragement. It is great to hear that you will be with Beginning of Life. I have heard only incredible things about the work they are doing and I am sure for you it will be a powerful experience. Please stay in contact as you head to Eastern Europe. Would love to hear how it all goes and how this experience shapes you!
      xoxo

  17. Freya says:

    “About | Just Saskia” Door Blinds definitely enables myself contemplate a small bit
    further. I appreciated each and every particular component of it.
    Thanks for the post ,Elena

  18. LMaya says:

    Hey Saskia! I just wanted to let you know I’ve awarded you a Sunshine Award. I had no idea what that was until this morning and when I found out, I liked the idea of recognising and connecting the women in the blogosphere who inspire me with their words🙂 http://free-to-dream.org/2013/04/02/winning-a-sunshine-award/

    • justsaskia says:

      Love the idea!!! Thanks Laura, I hope you guys are doing well — still in Nepal? Have a fantastic week!

      • LMaya says:

        Yup, we’re still in Nepal and starting to think we’ll never get out… but that’s not a bad thing! Have a great week, hope all is well with you and the crew in Amsterdam🙂

  19. Crystal says:

    Hi Saskia, Are you familiar with the organization Hope For The Sold? They are based out of Guelph, ON, and I think you and them might be quite complimentary to one another. Check out their website if you get a chance http://hopeforthesold.com/.

    • justsaskia says:

      Hi Crystal,

      Yes! I do know Hope For The Sold – Jay and Michelle interviewed me when in Amsterdam. Love them and their hearts!

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