The June 2019 arrest of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein has brought the issue of human trafficking into the news again. It is a good time to talk about how to refer to the victims and survivors of this evil.
Volunteer Opportunities: Yes
In March 2008, Jennifer Crow, founder of the Beautiful Dream Society, had a very vivid dream. In her unusual dream, Jennifer was on a ship with Christine Caine (only an acquaintance at the time), looking over the ship’s railing, cruising past a dark rocky coastline. As they glanced across the horizon, in the sky above the land, Jennifer saw the word “L-E-S-O-T-H-O,” spelled out in capital letters, a word she was unfamiliar with, and had no recollection of ever hearing. On the rocks of the coastline were hundreds of seals. One particular seal in the middle, a mother seal, was much bigger than the others. This mother seal had a large pouch, like a kangaroo, filled with baby seals; some were bleeding, pale, and sickly. While Jennifer and Christine were watching, the mother seal’s pouch was ripped open, and hundreds of her children, from embryos to different sizes of babies, spilled into the sea and were lost. As Jennifer looked into the eyes of the mother seal, the seal’s face turned into the face of a brown-skinned woman. Although she didn’t speak, the tears spilling from her penetrating eyes conveyed her voiceless but urgent plea: “Help me.”
Jennifer was shocked to discover that Lesotho is the name of a tiny country completely surrounded by South Africa. It’s a country ravaged by poverty, with the third highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world. Jennifer’s dream became the motivating catalyst for several trips to Lesotho, and in May 2010, the Beautiful Dream Society was founded. BDS’s initial purpose of helping the woman in the dream (Lesotho) with her hurting children was only the beginning.