I have written this note in my head several times for the past four days. I don’t know where to start. The beginning. The middle. The end. I want to mention names but for the fact that I could be guilty of the error of omission. Therefore, I use this opportunity to say a very big thank you to everyone who is pivotal to my present status.
I did not get here by chance or accident. Many people who allowed themselves to be used of God helped me through the process of climbing a ladder – the one that brought me to the mountain top where it seemed that I could see the whole world. I am grateful for this platform.
This platform is neither an ordinary one nor a platform for observation. It is a platform for rescue. A platform for empowerment. A platform to lend my voice to the voiceless. When I decided to take the shame for others in 2009 by putting my face to my story, I never imagined that I will be privileged to serve on this platform that God has provided for me. Indeed, He takes the weak and empowers them for His glory to promote mankind.
I am speechless. I have cried. I have laughed. It just feels like I am in a dream. “When the Lord turn again the captivity of zion, we were like them that dream,” according to Psalm 126. I have had so many flashback from my experiences. Scenes played back in my head. I have even mentioned some of those clips playing in my head to friends and family. For example, one was remembering how I begged for gari (cassava grain), one of the staple in a Nigerian household when I was pregnant. My benefactor did not think she did something extraordinary, but for a victim of human trafficking and domestic violence who was trapped in hunger, it was like a three course meal served at a five star restaurant.
And for the first time in almost a decade that my story has become public knowledge, I shared with my only biological sister and I cried. She knew the story. She has read the book. I have explained a little just so that I don’t add to the agony she was feeling after reading my memoir. But this time, I couldn’t help it because I knew that God had crowned my victory in glory.
I may not be able to say more here but I will like to commend the United States government. President Barack Obama and his team have listening ears. They maintained the position of power with such grace. Having power is not by oppressing the weak but by giving grace and opportunity to the weak. They took a great step to elevate those that have been trampled upon, beaten, battered, and hopeless, by giving them a historic platform to be part of the positive change in the community.
I cannot end this short piece without giving accolades to all the advocates and organizations that supported the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking Survivors of Human Trafficking Empowerment Act.
In addition, I will like to thank everyone for the prayers and congratulatory messages. I say thank you to all my colleagues in the media for giving me all the attention. I will like to let you know that such attention will help many who are still out there suffering. And, I want to use this opportunity to reach out to victims and survivors – help is available, please, call. The National Hotline in the U.S. is 1-888-373-7888. You can also reach The Enitan Story for help at www.enitan.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again, I submit with gratitude and humility for being chosen to be a part of the voice of reasoning to better serve victims and survivors of human trafficking in the United State as a member of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. I look forward to putting in my best as I work with my fellow council members to serve this great country.
I am pleased to introduce you to my fellow Council members:
Evelyn Chumbow, Appointee for Member, United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking
Evelyn Chumbow is a student at University of Maryland University College. She is also a Human Resources intern at Baker & McKenzie LLP, a position she has held since January 2015. Since 2014, Ms. Chumbow has been an advocate with the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking. Ms. Chumbow worked as a lab specimen collector from 2014 to 2015, a security guard from 2011 to 2013, and a rental car service agent from 2010 to 2011.
Harold d’Souza, Appointee for Member, United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking
Harold d’Souza is a Senior Supply Chain Associate for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, a position he has held since 2008. He is also a founding member of the National Survivor Network and is active with End Slavery Cincinnati. Earlier in his career, Mr. d’Souza served as a Sales Manager in India. Mr. d’Souza received an L.L.B. and M.Com. from Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara, India.
Minh Dang, Appointee for Member, United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking
Minh Dang is a Team Manager at Linde Group, Inc., a position she has held since 2014. Ms. Dang has also served as an independent consultant, providing training and technical assistance to nonprofits serving victims of child abuse and human trafficking since 2010. She worked at the University of California, Berkeley Public Service Center as a Program Coordinator and Program Manager from 2005 to 2011. Ms. Dang received a B.A. and M.S.W. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Tina Frundt, Appointee for Member, United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking
Tina Frundt is Executive Director of Courtney’s House, an organization she founded in 2008 to provide services for domestic sex-trafficked youth. Ms. Frundt held various positions at the Polaris Project, including serving as Director of Outreach from 2006 to 2007, Street Outreach Coordinator from 2005 to 2006, and Street Outreach Specialist from 2004 to 2005. Ms. Frundt trains law enforcement and other non-profit groups to rescue and provide resources to victims, and is a member of the Washington, D.C., State of Maryland and Prince Georges County Anti-Trafficking Task Forces. She was also appointed by the Governor of Maryland to the Safe Harbor working group.
Ima Matul Maisaroh, Appointee for Member, United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking
Ima Matul Maisaroh is Survivor Coordinator at the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST), a position she has held since October 2015. Prior to that, she was Survivor Organizer at CAST from 2012 to 2015. Prior to joining CAST in 2012, Ms. Matul Maisaroh worked as a file clerk and office administrator at Vanlochem and Associates from 2008 to 2012.
Ronny Marty, Appointee for Member, United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking
Ronny Marty is Executive Housekeeper at the Hilton Marco Island Hotel, a position he has held since 2010. From 1996 to 2007, he worked in the Dominican Republic as a Front Desk Manager at Hotel Hacienda Resorts and Hotel Sun Village Resorts and Spa. Mr. Marty received a B.A. from the Santiago University of Technology in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Florencia Molina, Appointee for Member, United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking
Florencia Molina is a founding member of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) Survivor Leadership Program and a member of the National Survivor Network. She has advocated for policies to combat human trafficking since 2002 and has worked as a security guard since 2005.
You can read or download the press release on the White House’s website.
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Bye for now, until next time.