Have media reports caused people to believe that there are countless trafficking victims wandering around looking for places to be sheltered? Or if it is potential victims of trafficking they want to help, do people think they will be easy to identify and want to live in a shelter? Have things come to this? No organisation or church is mentioned in relation to the people described in the below story, who presumably moved to Lesotho. Where is the money coming from? Have they friends in Lesotho? What will their migration status be there? I hope this project is less naive than it sounds in this report. The desire to ‘make a difference’ is nice, it’s how to be helpful that is so complicated. Neocolonialism doesn’t begin to explain this story. Although, in searching for photos, I found lots of non-Lesotho folk holding children and of Prince Harry playing with them.
28 December 2010, Spencer Lubitz, KZTV
Corpus Christi – Tears filled the Corpus Christi Airport Tuesday evening, as family and friends gathered at the airport to bid farewell to a group of local residents moving to South Africa to combat human trafficking. “I just can’t believe it’s finally here,” said Sonya Martinez, the group leader. Excitement exuded from those about to take the 10,000 mile journey to Lesotho. “We’re so anxious and excited just to get on the plane,” said Charles Martinez. “Just to be in Lesotho, I can’t get my mind off of that. It’s exciting.”
The group will be housing and caring for the countless victims of the human trafficking industry, a multi-billion dollar business that revolves around buying and selling people as slaves.
“I am a little excited to go to Africa and help the people where help is needed,” said Maya Martinez, who, at age 13, will join her parents and become the youngest person to make the move. Sonya, who has visited the area in the past, said the children are in dire need of assistance. “They’re just very oppressed, and they’re very unfortunate, and they’re in need. They’re in danger,” said Sonya.
The society’s oppressive nature isn’t enough to deter Sonya’s husband Charles from counting down the days. “I will kiss the ground when I get there, and take a very long nap,” he said. “I’ve been so excited; I haven’t been able to sleep very well.”
This group is just the first wave. Next year, they will be joined by a second group of South Texans who will follow them in making the journey to Southern Africa. Their work will already be cut out for them once they arrive, but they say South Africa is only the first stop, and it’s due to end right back here at home.
“Corpus represents freedom to me,” Sonya said. “I’m just looking forward to going to many different places, but starting with South Africa to help make that dream a reality in other places as well.” In two years, the group will return to establish a similar care center in South Texas. “I am from South Texas, I was born and raised in South Texas,” Sonya said, on the importance of returning to build a local facility. They say they hope to come back with the knowledge to make changes in our own community. “Hopefully make a difference,” Charles said. “That’s all we want to do, is make a difference.” With their suitcase filled with wishes and dreams, they were gone.