Natalie Wartew | Week 11

This week feels like it has gone too fast for me to realise that I was in it, let alone have time to actually form a reflection on it!

 

Last weekend was busy times – On Saturday, Christy and I spent time training our ‘Not For Sale’ Store volunteers.  It was great to be able to spend time investing in them, and helping them make the link between the work that they do in the store, and their contribution to ending human trafficking.  Actually as I was talking to them it was starting to cement more in my own mind:  they could choose to work in any shop in the mall where our store can be found.  If the goal was to sell products, then there is really no differentiation between our store and the one next door.  But the NFS vision is much broader.  The new online store has recently been launched, and if you visit the site you will see the mission statement:

 

“The Not For Sale Store generates enterprise & employment to prevent human trafficking and create new futures for survivors.

Every purchase you make is an action to end slavery, because no one should be for sale.

BUY FOR FREEDOM”

For the regular customer coming in off the street, our store might look just like any other.  But as they head towards the cash desk to purchase their new shoes, or journal, or t-shirt, or running gear, little do they know that they are becoming a modern-day abolitionist. The power of their purchase is one such that they are investing into enterprises which serve to prevent human trafficking rather than perpetuate it.

 

On Sunday we took the store ‘on the road’, and hosted a booth at a local community fair.  It’s always good to be out of the office and connecting one-on-one with people who support the abolitionist movement, or are engaging for the first time.  I don’t think I have ever met anyone who has been confronted with the reality of slavery in the world today and walked away not wanting to know, care, or make a difference.

 

I was at a ‘Train the Trainer’ course in San Jose on Monday, and by Tuesday the priority was sleep.  And sleep I did!  The rest of the week was a combination of brainstorming for various initiatives, preparing material for the Global Forum, and editing media.  Our newest fellow Hank also does media and it is so good to have him on the team!  I really value being able to work with somebody else and share ideas and skills.  You can feel yourself developing when you are pushed to do better – when someone brings a new perspective.  And when projects work out where you have leaped over the hurdles together, the victory is doubly sweet!

 

Natalie x

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