Last week I discussed the need to find solutions to the problems that we face. One program (of the many innovative initiatives) that Not For Sale has undertaken is the Free2Work program. I have been training on this program for the last three days and will be working as a Free2Work research fellow for the duration of my fellowship. The Free2Work program assesses a company’s effort to ensure that child and forced labor practices do not occur in its supply chain. Free2Work aggregates publically available information regarding a company’s corporate social responsibility, transparency, monitoring systems, codes of conduct, and policies, to be accessible and readable to a consumer, all in one place. Consumers can become informed as to whether child or labor trafficking has occurred in the making of a product that they are looking at purchasing by scanning the product’s barcode using the Free2Work App. Consumers that own less-smartphones (like me), can peruse the same information on the Free2Work website. The Not For Sale Free2Work program allows for engagement and integration on the issues of human trafficking in our everyday lives, to be able to be aware of the products that surround us, and to allow us to make more informed choices to prevent and decrease the demand of slave-made products. For anyone that is interested in seeing the problem of human-trafficking eliminated within our lifetime, but rationalize that they are unsure of how they can contribute, this is your entry-point towards a solution. This is an integral step to the movement and a project that we as a country can use to continuously assess, critique, and engage in the movement locally.
I was privileged to hear David Batstone speak this week at one of our weekly meetings. David talked to us about the need to build scalable, intelligently designed social enterprises that will have a global impact. He talked to us about seeing a project from 40,000 feet in the air, and how we should always be thinking proactively of the consequences and results we want to see from the projects that we conceive. I am reminded that even though we may have the best of intentions for a project that we create, we may not think them all the way through, and the implications that they may encounter.
I called to mind several fantastically large projects that have had a global impact, but weren’t necessarily thought out to the end product. I thought of the ongoing campaign to provide mosquito nets to malaria stricken zones and how we as an international community, banded together to provide nets to those in need. Where we thought we were doing good for a community, we forgot about the local business enterprises that already existed, and that providing free nets massed produced in a foreign country led local entrepreneurs, who were making a living by making mosquito nets, driven out of business and away from the opportunity of providing for their own family. Could we have invested differently in this project and perhaps ended with the same result? Of course. It’s difficult to determine how and when good situations can turn sour, and when and how we measure if one project is doing more good than harm. What I’ll take away from what David said is – we have to see the end result, 40,000 feet in the air, and work backwards from there. Only then can we better predict the impact we will make, and better assess the steps we have to take to get there in the future.
WOW! Where have the last three weeks gone! It seems like just yesterday I was pulling in for the night into a new home that I had never sleeping in before. The weeks at Not For Sale seem to just slip away as you are trying to get the most out of every minute, so much to get done in such a little time.
Last weekend we spent all afternoon Friday and all day Saturday at the Freedom Summit in Fremont, CA. The two key note speakers for this event were Condoleezza Rice and David Batstone. Going into it, I was really excited to hear what Rice had to say on the subject. But, once up on the stage it was hard to follow her as the statistics she gave us were old, “safe” numbers that everyone already knows. It was amazing to see what steps the government has taken over the last 5-10 years in helping to fight human trafficking. The yearly TIP report has become a very important piece of legislation, and the US leverages the information in the report to force countries to make changes.
The best part of the weekend was when David Batstone got up on stage. He is SOO passionate about the subject that even if you knew what he was going to say, it still amazed you and makes you give it a second thought. I don’t want to be disrespectful but I really do believe that David blew the other speakers out of the water. To be an amazing speaker, you’re going to hurt someone’s feelings here and there. He wasn’t afraid to “step on toes”. One of his main ideas was that we aren’t asking for people to come and just join the movement, we want people that are passionate and want to make things happen! It felt like everyone in the crowd was just asking for more and more while he was speaking.
Work around the office has been amazing. Yes I am behind a computer screen all day but I am getting more done then I ever thought possible. We are currently working on the Global Forum for 2011 and It is amazing to see the potential that the event has for this upcoming year. We have a great line up of bands and some of the speakers names being thrown around are going to have a major impact on those people that are willing to give up their time to come and listen. I really want to know if the lady that stood up saying she was going to wear the same shirt for a year is holding up her end of the bargain. If so, should we encourage her to change it before she shows up at the forum? ☺
The weather here has continued to be amazing. The temperature has been upwards of 65 everyday with nothing but the sun over our heads. I keep being told not to get used to this, but I’m being very optimistic and hopefully this sun and temperatures stick around for a little longer! Anything is better than the snow and temperatures that my parents and friends keep telling me they are experiencing at home!
While on the way to the Freedom Summit, Jono, Shane, and I created a masterpiece of a music video to the song A Whole New World. You can check it out at: http://bit.ly/f6Mcgz . These are the two craziest and funniest guys that I have ever met. There is never a dull moment in the house. Sometime in the next few days we are planning on going golfing at an amazingly awesome indoor black light mini-golf course. HAHA it is going to be epic.. well at least we will try and make it be that way!
For any correspondence you can mail:
P.O. Box 2811
El Granada, CA 94018-2811
To help me out financially please visit: https://nfs.webconnex.com/davidquimby
Wow! What a crazy Second week already! One of the first things I have learned here at Not For Sale is that everything moves and changes quickly. You may be planning something and ten minutes later, you can completely switch tracks. For some this may be hard to follow, but for me it is a welcome breathe of relief. You are always doing something different here but it’s amazing to see what you can accomplish when put under enough stress! One of the coolest things about this organization is to see the amazing leadership and talent that David Batstone has built up around him. Not For Sale is not looking to succeed for a year, they are looking to create a successful organization that will continue to grow and make SIGNIFICANT changes in people’s lives for years to come! I just can’t explain how it feels to know that I get to be a part of that!
This week in the office I have started working on Global Forum 2011. We are looking to step it up this year and the event will be held in San Francisco. The concert will be rocking this time around with three OUTSTANDING bands!
After just two weeks in the office, I am starting to feel comfortable understanding and working on all the projects I have been assigned to. One major push and Idea that I have had is to get the Freedom Store running more effectively and smoothly. Though they had great systems in place in the past, we want to make it easier for all three of us fellows to be able to recognize and sell the jewelries that we have a hard time distinguishing between. After just one week of shifts in the freedom store, I have noticed that having an accent really is a benefit when working in our retail J. Between Shane and Jono, they have sold over $850 worth of merchandise… me ..zero. I’m hoping to blame this on my shift being 1/3 of the length of theirs but I will l let them have the glory right now, it won’t last long!
The last project I have been assigned to is taking over the Student Abolitionist movement. We are currently working on putting a calendar together that shows events of all the clubs on our main webpage at SAMstudents.org. To work a NFS club and know that there are tons of other clubs in the area working towards the same goals, are hope is that it will give these organizations Ideas and support to host events of their own.
On another note, Half Moon Bay’s weather has been a well welcomed break from that of Chicago’s. I left the freezing cold to come to an area that averages 60 degrees daily and for the last two weeks has had an abnormal amount of sunny days! My B-day was last weekend and I made the most out of it. In my e-mail I received a coupon for a 24 hour free motorcycle rental so I spent all Sunday exploring the state park just across the golden gate bridge. I have to admit that being in such an amazing area, working at an amazing organization, and riding a Harley Fat Boy led to one of the best birthdays yet! It only would have been better if I could have had my entire family out here with me! Soon enough!
House: Still enjoying living with two of the craziest guys I have ever met! Though we have all agreed that we will probably hate each other by the end of our three months, we have a lot of crazy ideas for videos that our viewers will eventually get to watch! Keep your eyes open for them as they will be coming soon!
So I’m back! It was hard to leave the kids in Peru, and I really hope one day I can head back to see them! In the mean time, I have loads of photos to sort through and hopefully post here on the blog soon.
Getting back into the country was not without it’s drama! The immigration office at the San Francisco Airport took a little bit of time and explanation as to why I wanted to get back in so quickly after leaving. For a little while there, the immigration officer looked like she might have decided to deport me, but after much discussion with her supervisor she let me in! After asking lots of questions and grilling me about the Fellowship, the officer then informed me that, not only was she familiar with the Not For Sale Campaign, she loved what we do and was passionate about stopping human trafficking. It was a bizarre end to an intense time!
It was back into full swing in the office! We had the privilege to hear the amazing Kru Nam at two different events this week. Her story is so powerful and she tells it with such honesty, grace and humility. It was so amazing to hear first hand the chain of events that lead her to taking over 125 vulnerable children into her care. Her story also gave birth to the Not For Sale Campaign, when David Batstone met her and made the commitment to support her.
I know everyone who gets to hear her next week at the Global Forum will be moved by her courage and persistence as well. It’s strange to think that Global Forum is less than a wee away! Laura and Kilian have done such an amazing job, and while I was away, Sarah and the other Fellows has stepped into the breach and really helped to carry the load. This next week is going to be so impacting and I am so blessed to have an opportunity to be a part of it all! If you are in the Yorba Linda area next week and can come along, I can guarantee you won’t regret it!
That’s all from me for now! I’m sure I’ll have a lot to report next week!
Zoals global forum dichterbij komt, werkten we terug aan de laatste voorbereidingen die getroffen moesten worden, wat elke keer opnieuw leuk en spannend is..
Deze week mochten we ook genieten van Kru Nam uit Thailand die hier in SF aanwezig was en haar verhaal vertelde in onder andere de kerk van Benita op woensdag avond, en op donderdag avond in USF..
Een zeer ontroerend verhaal over hoe Kru Nam kinderen van straat af haalde die gezien werden als de minste onder de minste en zelfs geen staats documenten hadden, en niet als Thai gezien werden, een strijd van jaren vechten en overleven met een weinig of geen inkomen om al deze kinderen te voeden. Door Kru Nam’s sterke wil om deze kinderen een nieuwe toekomst te geven, kwam ze op een dag in ontmoeting met David Batstone waar ze elkaars verhaal vertelden.. Davids hart was geraakt en wou daar iets aan die situatie veranderen. Zo maakte hij zijn belofte waar en begon met het schrijven van een boek om de financiële steun te kunnen overhandigen aan dit project.. Tijdens het schrijven van Davids boek kreeg hij telkens email van Kru Nam met de melding dat er meer kinderen bijgekomen waren. Zo richtte David de Not For Sale campaign op en creëerde een team om daar samen aan te werken. Zoals vele malen gelezen in mijn vorige rapporten van mijn ervaringen hier bij NFS, kan ik alleen maar bevestigen dat het een fantastisch team is met passie en gedrevenheid om dan ook daadwerkelijk een einde te maken aan slavernij. Hierbij wil ik dan ook nogmaals bevestigen wat een groot hart ieder op zich heeft en een voorrecht voor mij om hier deel te mogen van uitmaken, te zien hoe de verschillend platforms zich uitbreiden in alle richtingen en de organisatie een uitzonderlijke groei kent.. Mensen van overal en alle achtergronden die een grote interesse tonen in de strijd tegen slavernij in alle vormen..
Zo sloot ik mijn week af in de stad waar we samen met Kru Nam een kathedraal bezochten, de bekende kabel car namen met een kijkje op de Blue angels die aan het trainen waren met de Jets voor het komende weekend..
As global forum draws closer, we worked on the last preparations that need to be taken, as always, the time is fun and exciting ..
This week we also enjoyed Kru Nam from Thailand who was present in SF and told her story at Benita’s church on Wednesday evening and Thursday evening spoke at USF ..
A very touching story about how Kru Nam took the street children off the street who were seen as the least among the least and even had no state documents where they ware not been seen as Thai civilians, a fight with years of fighting and surviving with little or no income for all these children to feed. By Kru Nam’s strong will to give children a new future, one day she met with David Batstone where they told each other story .. David’s heart was touched and wanted to do something about that situation. So he made his promise and started writing a book to hand over financial support to this project .. During the writing of David’s book he received email from Kru Nam and indicates that more children were added. So David founded the Not For Sale campaign and created a team to work on this together. As many times read in my previous reports of my experiences here at NFS, I can only confirm that a great team with passion and enthusiasm working hard to bring an end to slavery. I would like therefore reaffirm what a big heart, and each in itself has, a privilege for me to be a part of this, to see how the different platforms expand in all directions and the organization has an exceptional growth .. People of all backgrounds and from everywhere show a great interest in the battle against slavery in all its forms.
So I closed my week in the city where we together with Kru Nam, visited a cathedral, the famous cable car while we could watch the Blue Angels who were training with the Jets for the next weekend ..