Sarah is the founder of Made by Survivors, a non-profit that trains former victims of human trafficking crimes to make jewelry as a means of supporting themselves.They also house and educate survivors. Sarah began with a couple of stories horrifying beyond belief. Imagine a family so poor that they sell their daughter into sexual slavery. Then imagine the terror and pain that young girl experienced when she is raped by more than ten men on her first night away from home. But the next part is almost the most unimaginable of all. Once that young girl finds her way to Made by Survivors, she leaves that past behind and becomes a young woman who can laugh and have friends and support herself through newly-learned skills as a jewelry maker.
First, once the girls have talked about their trauma and received counseling, they focus on what they want in the future. Sarah said they "live into that belief" rather than letting the past define them.
Second, the girls work to stay in the present. You can't heal the past by living in the past. (The education and training the girls receive and the subsequent work they do enables the girls to keep their minds busy on something other than revisiting the past.)
Throughout the day, videos of TED talks were shown to provide further inspiration. Memory Banda's personal story about fighting child marriage laws and traditions in Malawi has a clear connection to Sarah's talk. Click here to watch that video.
The day was off to an inspiring start. Stay tuned for more of my take-aways.