YEP: Your Voice Against Human Trafficking

YEP: Your Voice Against Human Trafficking

In this article, I want to speak about my personal project, something I am really attached to since it was my purpose since I came here in Ukraine and I made a lot of effort to realize it.

Indeed, through my work here in Ukraine,  I wanted to address a problem that is commonly ignored by many local people: the phenomenon of Human Trafficking that affect young people as well. According to IOM, Forty (40%) per cent of vulnerable minors from 13 to 17 are ready to accept at least one offer that may lead to their involvement in human trafficking.

In order to counter this problem, I decided to design and implement an educational programme to prevent the involvement in Human Trafficking of young people living in my district , Sykhiv. This was very hard at the beginning, but also possible thanks to positive involvement of committed Ukrainian organizations and artists such as Womens Perspective and Zombo Kickit.

As a result, we run two set of workshops in two different schools in Sykhiv district, combining knowledge on Human trafficking and safe migration with Art, the most powerful tool against human trafficking. In this scenario, hip hop has constituted an extremely useful method to involve young people in this topic and make them to digest this issue and take actions against this phenomenon.

I have encountered many obstacles during my way as It was hard to persuade local actors to participate in this initiative and also to convince my coworkers to trust me in this journey,  but final outcomes have exceeded my expectations. Response of both teachers and students have been awesome. Children have been enthusiastic to learn new skills such as making pictures, writing and singing rap bars on stories of people trafficked, and at the same time they have learnt how to protect themselves from traffickers.

What this project has taught to me is not to give up. We, young people, often find many obstacles on our way, many people that tell us that our ideas do not fit into this world and that it is impossible to change reality. My suggestion is to take those obstacles as a motivation to challenge yourself. Outcomes may not be what we were expecting to be, probably we are not going to change the world,  but for sure we will make an impact with long term results.