Yes! I’m going to Thailand and India 6-28 February! Of course I’m looking forward to enjoying some warm weather in February, but I’m even more excited about moving forward in the fight against slavery.
I’m about to embark on this trip to learn more about the current efforts to address human trafficking and about how health professionals can do more to help the vulnerable and victimized in those countries. I’ll be in Thailand for a week, visiting Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai; and in India for two weeks visiting Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, and some surrounding villages.
The purpose of this trip is several-fold:
- As medical director of Global Health Promise, I will explore future and potential projects on maternal child health in the trafficking/prostitution arena as no one is documenting the burden of this issue globally. As there is an estimated 20 million prostituted women with 30 million children worldwide affected, it could be inhibiting efforts to reach Millennium Development Goals.
- Another goal, as a board member of Doctors at War, is to discuss with the various projects about their needs for medical personnel and what it would look like to start sending health professionals who want to serve in their projects. An idea of collaboration and partnership to treat the affected in aftercare, but also explore avenues of prevention.
- Another objective is doing documentation in conjunction with a story-telling project headed by BuildaBridge, a non-profit arts education and intervention organization that engages the transformative power of the arts to bring hope and healing to children, families, and communities in the tough places of the world. I will be traveling with a colleague from BuildaBridge, Jason Nicholas. Jason is a media producer and consultant; he will document this trip and consider how Global Health Promise might better communicate the needs of vulnerable populations with whom we work. We hope to develop a system by which we can provide case studies and support material for medical professionals working in the field of human trafficking. Please see http://www.buildabridge.org/storytelling-project/index.html for more information.
I am excited about this endeavor and am expecting a lot of the unexpected (good and bad) from this trip. It is certainly a big step in the direction of my work against human trafficking and I am looking forward to more and more opportunities opening up as a result.
Do keep remembering all the people trapped in all forms of slavery worldwide. Perhaps, you and I working together could do something to help them.