The course I was taking this term was Christian Leadership in the 21st Century (MS 1B03).
My exam was an open book. It was cool to have the teacher prayed for us before we started. I opened my mind and let it all flow. I was surprise at how organize my thoughts were. I even break down the plan into phases. Perhaps this is a calling and a sign from above??
I feel like I am in phase 1 right now. I 'like' to learn more and understand more. Though, it is hard to see and witness these hideous crimes and oppression. Yet, this is where I need to be....to seek God among all of this..and seek where He is walking and where He is calling me.
Below is my response....
For the exam, I will be selecting Scenario 2. I will write a four year strategic plan to present to future backers to hinder trafficking of children into Canada. I decide that this will be a new parachurch organization. The rationale is that this is a national focus and will be out of the boundary of a local church or denomination. This will also be a huge undertaking as it is a national problem and the solution requires a combination of local and foreign involvement, working with various non profit organizations (Christian and non-Christian based), and with the government and the police.
Objective: To prevent traffickers from smuggling children into Canada for sex trade or carry drug.
Vision: To bring fourth God's Kingdom onto the world by defending the children against sex traffickers
Given the four year timetable, I will break the plan into the follow phases. The brackets are the timeline.
Phase 1 - Understand the situation (first three months)
Phase 2 - Gather team members and partners (after Phase 1. Core team members in 6 months.)
Phase 3 - Promote awareness (on going)
Phase 4 - Develop a solution (After phase 2 gathering the core members. It will take 6 months)
Phase 5 - Take action (after phase 4 to ongoing)
I will spend the first three months in phase 1 and assess the situation. I will then build a team, find partners and alliances in Phase 2. Phase 2 will be an on going process since we will always look for volunteer and others who are interested on joining with us. The key in achieving the objective is to bring an awareness to Canadians (Christians and non-Christians) in Phase 3. As Phase 3 is rolling, we will devleop a solution with the team I build in Phase 2. Once the solution is develop, we will implement it in Phase 5.
These phases might overlap with each other. While I am in phase 1, I will be looking for those who have the same calling and are interested on being part of the team (phase 2). We need to speak about the issue so Canadians will be aware of it and what's being done. Some phases might go hand in hand. For example, we can address to Canadians what the problem is (Phase 3) and then offer three easy steps for them to be part of the solution (Phase 5).
Phase 1 - Understand the situation
The first step is to understand the extent of the problem. I need to educate myself first. These will be the questions I will be asking:
- how many children are trafficking to Canada annually?
- where are the children coming from? (Region and ethnicity)
- why are they being trafficked? (bought, volunteered, kidnap etc.)
- where are the children smuggled to? (City, Province etc.)
- what's the purpose of them being smuggle? (sex, drug, slavery etc.)
- who are smuggling them? How are they being smuggle? (ship, plane etc.)
- what is the justice system like to stop children trafficking?
- how's Canada justice system and what are the laws to stop children trafficking? How and who are enforcing these?
- are there international laws stopping children from being trafficked? How and who are enforcing these?
- Is there Christian organization/local church/other parachurch organization in Canada that is already combating these? If so, can we partner up with them.
- What about non profit organization (non-Christian) in Canada aware of these situation? If so, can we partner up with them.
- Is there Christian organization/church or NPO in the source of the traffic that is combating these situation? Can we gather more info
- how are other countries combating these?
- what have other people do, locally or nationally, to prevent human traffic?
- has there been success stories of a nation preventing the smuggling of children? What was the process?
Here are the sources I will use to become an expert in this subject and aware of the reality at hand:
- speak to the Canada Customs Officer to ask what he/she knows
- Non Profit Organization (NPO) research and related studies
- United Nations, they should have a department that study human trafficking
- Canada legal system and police system for records on children traffic related materials
- attend human rights meeting
It is crucial to address these questions. The better I understand the problem, the more probable we can find a solution. Of course, the solution will dependent on the type of scenario. For example, if by studying we see that majority of the children are coming from Cambodia and the Canadian government has good tides with Cambodian government, one solution is to petition Canada government to ask Cambodian government to increase their pressure on child smuggling on their end. Granted, this task requires lobbying with the MP and address an issue to the federal government (not an easy task), it is to show how the solution will dependent on the situation at hand.
Through understanding the situation, I will be connecting with others in Canada who have the same mind and focus. There are a number of Christian organizations in Canada (and around that world) that combats child trafficking. One of these organizations is call Ratanuk. They worked along side with International Justice Missions to stop children traffick in Cambodia and other Asia specific countries. The research will help me build networks and form partnerships to help promote the situation and devise a solution (Phase 2,3, and 4).
As a Christian, I need to have a Biblical understand of justice. For my own spiritual growth and re-nourish my soul, I will be studying the Word and see the just characteristics of our God. Verses from Isaiah 1:17 and Micah 6:8 will be crucial in understanding who God is and what is justice in His eyes. The more I learn about who God is and the more I seek to be in His likeness, the better I will be as a servant of God to do His Will in combating this clause. These study, meditation and reflection will be useful to encourage me as I will face numerous trials, pressure and struggles.
Phase 2 - Gather Team members/ partners
To prevent child trafficking is a big task. I cannot do it on my own. I will need to gather a team and work with others. I will share my concern and desire first within my circle of influence. Support from friends and family is crucial. They can be my voice to promote to others. Hopefully there will be one or two friends that will join me on this journey. I will join other organizations that battle against human trafficking. As there are a number of these organizations, I will discern which one I can work closely with and we have a similar vision. These organizations and partners are important as they will be a source of information and we can also work with each other to promote the issue at hand. Ratanuk and International Justice Missions are great choice as they are already combating children trafficking.
The team will also be comprises of a mix of skills and talents. My ideal team will consists of:
- a lawyer that has experience with human rights, international law and justice system
- a police officer dealt with RCMP
- a PR person who has a passion for child trafficking issue
What's crucial for each team member is that they believe in the vision and objective of this team.
Phase 3 - Promote Awareness
One of the most important part is to share to others and to tell Canadians what is going on. The Canadian society, if well inform, will oppose to children smuggling. The problem is that most people are not aware of the situation. The solution lies in promoting to the public so they are aware. The key is to show the people that child smuggling is very close to home and not only happen in far away places like Asia or Africa. If we can change this perception and Canadians realize their country is involve and is part of the problem in child smuggling, they will have a higher urgency to act. The PR person will be very beneficial in this case, working with local and national media channels (TV, radio etc).
At the same time, we will promote via online. With my experience in Internet marketing, we will promote through the following:
- social media sites such as Facebook to gather members
- use message system such as twitter for updates
- blog, an online diary, so visitors can see our updates and made aware of the situation
- email newsletter, ask people to sign up and receive a monthly or quarterly update
The strength in using Internet marketing is its low cost (relatively free) and its ability to promote to others in real time and mass communication. In the 2010 Winter, a friend promoted the increase in child trafficking to Vancouver during the Olympics. She sent it through Facebook. Because of her post, I was aware of the situation and I post it on my profile so others will see it. Internet Marketing have the ability to spread a message very quickly with little or no cost.
There is also another type of awareness that I will be implementing. This will be communicate within the Christian community in Canada. As God is a Justice God who defend the oppress, we, as Christians, should do the same. We will promote in Christian events such as Missionfest or other local church mission events. The more we speak to brothers and sisters in Christ about this, we can ask them to pray for us and also partner up with us. The goal is to have a number of churches joining us through via promotion or being pro-active in combating child trafficking. One possibility is working with the Compassion department in Christian and Missionary Alliance of Canada. By working with other major denominations on a national scale, we can promote the awareness faster and in a national scale. We will also need prayer, financial and resource support as well.
Promotion is important. There might be others who are interested and passionate in this issue. Others will be willing to give their time and effort. Others might want to pray for us. And some might want to support us financially. More importantly, the more people are aware of child trafficking, the easier for us to move on to the next phase, which is develop a solution and acting on it.
Phase 4 - Develop a solution
With the right team and understanding the situation, we can develop a solution. Can we done this by ourselves? How do we address this to our government? Can we work with the Federal government?
There are many actions that we can take. We can start off small by individually write a letter to the MP. We can work with the RCMP and see how our team can help address this situation. Is there church or Christian organizations that is helping children from being smuggle? We can help them (mission trip or donations). In Phase 2, I lay out the personnel for my ideal team. The lawyer and a police officer will be helpful in this phase. Their knowledge, experience and background will be crucial in developing a solution. I am not experience in this matter and my team will be able to provide the direction and guidance on this area.
When we promote to Canadians, we will include little steps that they can do to prevent child trafficking. We can prepare a sample letter that they can use to send to their MP. Or we can collect their signatures.
International Justice Mission is an international Christian organization. They worked closely with Cambodian police force to train them and conduct raids to stop child trafficking. A possible solution is to work overseas in the origins of the child traffickers.
Phase 5 - Take Action
This will be the last step. The implementation will most likely have to do with rectifying the legal system in Canada. This will require huge financial cost (hiring a lawyer) and resource requirement. As we promote awareness, we will ask others for sponsor and donations. This phase we might partner with other organization, like International Justice Missions, to leverage their expertise and their resources. Partner and finding alliance in phase 2 will be crucial for this phase. If a number of non profit organizations, Christian organizations and churches .can come together, it will help greatly in maintain the momentum in taking action and stopping the process of trafficking of children in Canada.