Event Raises Awareness of Human Trafficking
By Adrienne Jones for Eventgroove
According to The A21 Campaign, an estimated 27 million people around the world are currently victims of slavery. On 1st March, Guernsey Against Sex Trafficking (GAST) held their first event to raise money and awareness for the anti-slavery cause.
GAST began after their founder heard an A21 presentation. The foundation’s main goal is to “prevent a Guernsey child or young person from being trafficked.” They provide “targeted information to equip people with the knowledge of how to stay safe, and decrease the risk of ever becoming a victim.” They also seek to aid other groups in their efforts to “save people from the misery of slavery.”
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime defines human trafficking as the “recruitment, transportation, or harbouring of persons through use of force, coercion, deception, or abuse of power for the purpose of exploitation.” Mistreatment takes many forms, including prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor, and removal of organs.
A21 has offices and transition homes in locations that serve as prime sources, destinations, or transit points for victims such as Greece, South Africa, Ukraine, Thailand, the U.S., and Australia. The organisation works to educate potential victims and suppliers with programmes in orphanages, learning institutions, community groups, and churches.
They also provide “safe places for survivors” and “equip them with skills they can use in the future.” A21 prosecutes traffickers, works to “strengthen the legal response” and provides legal representation to all victims in their care.
GAST’s inaugural fundraiser brought in £570, partly thanks to the winning team, led by Juliet Ozanne, who gifted their £150 prize to the charity. Planner Poppy Murray calls this a “truly incredible and totally unexpected inspiring act of selflessness for which I was extremely grateful.”
Promoters sent out a press release, put up posters, and used Facebook to get the word out. Murray notes that “in an island of 75,000 people word of mouth is incredibly effective.” She feels an important aspect of event planning is figuring out how popular your function may be.
“Try to gauge the level of interest before the event so you can pick a venue to suit,” Murray explains. “As this was our first fundraiser, I was not expecting a great deal of interest, and booked a relatively small venue. The event sold out very quickly, and I had to turn away an additional 20 to 30 people. Next time I will definitely book a bigger venue as it was awful to have to turn people away when we could have raised even more for the foundation.”
How have you promoted inaugural events for your organisations?