In my job now, I am confronted with stories of people who are forced to work against their will, through the use of violence or intimidation. They are slaves, and its estimated there are over 40 million people enslaved in society today.
40 million people is a huge number. It can make you question what one person can do to affect change. Over the years I’ve realised that one person can do a lot. There are so many amazing individuals who have started a movement, inspired others, changed the life of someone else. And so I know that I can do something to make a difference. We all can.
This October I will cycle 250kms across Cambodia with 13 team mates to raise awareness about modern slavery and I will raise funds for a charity that is doing incredible work freeing people from slavery and holding the perpetrators to account – IJM Australia.
The challenge will start in Siem Reap, the home of Angkor Wat, and see the team cycle to Battambang and onto Phnom Penh. Along the way we will spend time with not-for-profits and social enterprises working with survivors of trafficking and forced labour. The last day will be spent in Phnom Penh with IJM’s field office, getting a first-hand view of the work of the National Investigations & Enforcement Team, and hearing the stories of those IJM has rescued.
The entire team are novice cyclists, with at least one member getting back on a bike after a 20-year ‘break’. We will spend the year training and building our fitness, and importantly, learning more about IJM’s work and the global issue of modern slavery.
We have set ourselves a team target of $125,000 – to cover the operational costs of the National Investigations & Enforcement Team in IJM’s new labour trafficking project in Cambodia.
Slavery should not exist in our society. Please support our efforts to eradicate it.