"Feed a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime"
- Chinese Proverb
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."
~ Nelson Mandela
"Every person should know and experience dignity, honour and respect"
~ Empower International
"Rescue is necessary, but prevention is ideal"
~ Empower International
2014, first ever, Charity Camel Trek was staged on
Beltana Station, South Australia.
8 women, 8 Pack camels and a whole lot of adventure and challenge took place August 22-28, 2014
The 'hand picked' CCT team under took a journey like none other - all in the name of charity, in this instance to help END child sex slavery by raising $15,369 to donate to Empower International ($5,369 than our original goal), which in turn we gave (admission free) to International Justice Mission, who are a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.
Our 6 dedicated trekkers trekked to an array of different locations each day, walking 13-18km/day for Empower International, raising funds to help empower - rescue, educate, safe house, teach necessary life skills to young girls who are sold to slavery.
Did you know that slavery still exists today?
Within poor families girls of South East Asia are considered less of value than boys, therefore they are the first option to "sell" as slaves, leave their family, their place of comfort and familiarity to keep the rest of their family surviving.
They are consider useless.
This is a very real issue that happens on a daily basis in our 21st century!
Girls as young as 5 years old are being exploited, coerced and threatened into human sex trafficking. They are being sold to brothels in South East Asia which leaves no trace left of dignity, self-respect and love and freedom to their childhood life.
Charity Camel Trek Goals:
1. Raise awareness of the current slavery issues of young girls. To inspire those of us with our freedom, to be driven to make a difference to exploited children and give them a strong voice, empower them to have a strong sense of dignity and self-respect, which in turn has a ripple effect through their families and families' family's.
2. Raise $10,000+ to fund rescue operations This is the amount it costs for IJM to work in partnership with local authorities to bring young girls out of a brothels and given them the childhood they rightfully deserve.
3. Create ongoing fundraiser: Each trek participant to journal their thoughts, feelings, experiences, reflections, new awareness’ and inspirations while on the 7 day Charity Camel Trek. All journal entries will be transferred into a Inspirational journal book to be sold as an on going fundraiser for Empower International (Sold in stores) with intention to inspire others to do something epic for themselves while helping others.
4. Raise awareness of the camel - the most adaptable and 'hardy' domestic animal in Australia (if not the world). Camels in Australian are culled (killed) by the thousands, in fact, tax payers in Australia pay $140 per head of camel to be killed here in Australia, when we could be utilising them in other ways, including helping projects such as Charity Treks/Expeditions.
5. To empower women to take a stand against child slavery of young girls, and bring hope, freedom, love & nurturing back into their lives, just as any child rightly deserves.
Empower International will be using the funds that we raise to work hand in hand with International Justice Mission to pay for the important work to free young girls/women who are held in slavery in South East Asia.
Watch the video below to gain an insight into International Justice Mission's work.
I have a 5 year old daughter…. Some girls are sold into child sex trafficking at this vulnerable age when they should be exploring their world, having the freedom to lear and having the safe arms of someone who cares for them to nestle into when they need comfort, support and guidance.
When I learned of Empower International and what they stood for I felt drawn to help this cause in more than one way. Utilising my co-owned and operated business Australian Camels to create awareness of current slavery issues on our world and also the camel itself - the most adaptable and 'hardy' domestic animal in Australia (if not the world).
The camel is india's symbol of love, therefore they are the perfect mascot to help run this Charity Trek project. Camels have a tendency to bring out the best in situations and people. every person that joins any trek we, Outback Australian Camels, run ALWAYS goes away with a major perspective adjustment on their life and the world around them, in knowing that I knew that the idea of having each trek participant journal their thoughts, feelings and new awareness' while out on trek would make an intriguing journal book to any person who likes to "think globally", this will also support continuous funding to help support Empower International on a long term bias.
Pic: Tara looking at "Jack" the lead camel with respect & admiration whilst trekking
Pic: Jack, Euco & Taggles holding themselves with pride & enjoying some human connection
The End Goal:
1. Successful Charity Trek raising $10,000 plus to Support IJM to work with local authorities to reduce young girls from illegal child sex trafficking.
2. An ongoing donation to Empower International and their project through the selling of the Charity Trek Journal in stores.
3. Inspire others to do a Charity Trek for their chosen charity.
4. Create awareness about the camel who is largely misunderstood in the Australian culture.
5. To create an annual Women's Empowerment Charity Trek as an on going mission to END child sex slavery.
At Outback Australian Camels we are dedicated to helping people to prepare for their own charity treks/expeditions with the hardy and affectionate camel.
Why Empower International?
In my past I felt I was violated as a girl. Not as drastic as these girls sold into slavery, but nonetheless the feeling remains the same and I know of many other girls/women in our western culture who can relate to this feeling of having their rights violated.
I have a deep emotional attachment to do everything in my power to help give girls in sex slavery a voice and empower them to find their own voice for a solid foundation for their future, where girls are no longer thought of anything less then their true beauty, value and the power they can gift to this world.
As I browsed through the Empower International store and spoke with Geoff, and seeing his passion and dedication for what him and his wife Lynice do for girls and women across the globe, I just knew, that finally, I had found what I was looking for! Even though at that time I had no idea what I would do to help such an organisation. But slowly (amongst my 3 children and operating 2 business) I'm seeing and planning my life to incorporate projects to support such a high integrity organisation:
The core values of EI is in sustainability for women and girls by EMPOWERING them rather than just "feeding them a fish for a day…."
The funds being raised for Empower Intentional will be to pay for International Justice Mission to undergo "raids" of illegal brothels involved with child sex trafficking.
Empower International is a not-for-profit, fair trade organisation.
They're focus is “empowering the privileged to empower the poor”. They believe in the priceless value of every person and they oppose the many injustices of extreme poverty, particularly human trafficking and sexual slavery in our world. EI helps victims experience dignity, honour and respect, through encouraging awareness, compassion and a strategic response to make generational change for people living in poverty...
One life at a time..
Picture: Rescued girls from illegal child sex trafficking
Empower International support carefully selected organisations of compassion and integrity, working especially to empower girls physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and socially.
Being a smaller organisation Empower International bring together a strong and dedicated community who are highly driven to work towards project goals on a sustainable, long term basis.
Picture: Women learning how to knit to sell their goods
Empower International are a retail outlet in rural Victoria, Australia. Their shop is not-for-profit, all fair trade and handmade items that have been sourced and carefully selected from small businesses that offer training and employment to precious people needing an answer to poverty and injustice.
"Our supplies (products/producers) are largely from girls and women's lives that have been impacted by HIV/AIDS, Human trafficking & abuse. Through rescue and rehabilitation, medical care and ongoing nurture and skill development, these people have been able to turn their lives around and a new future has been established for them and their families and future family".
Pic: A happy and empowered young woman making a gorgeous handmade bag
Help Keep Girls Like These Out of Sex Slavery >>
International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.
IJM works with local authorities (e.g Police) and is involved in the investigation of circumstances where people are held against their will for purposes of sexual exploitation or sweat shops etc. They are involved in raids to rescue people being held in such circumstances and are then involved in the prosecution of perpetrators as well as rehabilitation of victims. The funds raised will be provided to International Justice Mission to pay for this important work to free people who are held in slavery in South East Asia.
See www.ijm.org for more info.