Today I’m glad to welcome to our community John Bardos, who you may know on the Internet as “Jet Set Citizen.” John has been living abroad for over fifteen years now; he’s an amazingly down-to-earth guy who is living an authentic life of simplicity and service. I’m really looking forward to sharing our wonderful conversation on the A Congruent Life podcast very soon!
John has been dedicating a ton of energy into raising awareness about human trafficking, and in the meantime I’m glad to yield the virtual ACL floor to him to share his thoughts about that important issue! Go for it, John:
A Story of Human Trafficking
Perhaps you’ve encountered a girl like her, maybe during your travels or maybe down the street from where you live. A teenage girl with disarming charm and wit whose future you know is bound to be bright. M, as we shall call her, wears her love for her friends and family in her perennial smile. She enjoys meeting the people who travel through her village.
A Hmong girl from a remote hill tribe in northern Vietnam, M works after school at the local market, trying to earn money to contribute toward her family’s expenses. Perhaps the girl you know is similarly precocious and independent, inspiring in you a strange mixture of both admiration and concern.
That was the M that filmmaker and photography, Ben Randall, befriended before she was kidnapped in 2011. After he left Vietnam, Ben learned that M accepted a ride on a motorcycle from a local man whom she knew. She has not been seen by her loved ones since.
Though we don’t know precisely what happened to her, it’s likely she was sold as a wife or prostitute into China, just across the border. This is a common threat to the Hmong population, a marginalized group in Vietnam, making them easy targets.
M’s story is one case of a human trafficking pandemic. According to Havoc Scope, there are 20.9 million people who, like M, have become commodities in the $32 billion human trafficking industry. What chance does weak law enforcement have to investigate a case like M’s? How could her friends and family, speaking only Hmong and never having left their local area, search for her?
Ben Randall is filming a documentary about his search for M in order to raise awareness about human trafficking.
Watch this video to learn more about the project.
Help support this critical human trafficking awareness project by sharing this video with your friends and making a small contribution to the campaign.
Find out how you can help on ‘The Human, Earth Project’ crowdfunding page.
Please take a moment to share the project on your favorite social media sites.
Thanks for helping to make a difference.
Thanks for your support Andy! It means a lot that you can help publicize this project.
Sure thing, John – thanks for raising awareness about this important issue!
Thanks for sharing this. I met Ben (the film maker John talks about here) In SE Asia and have been really inspired by his story and dedication to raising awareness of the situation – especially amongst these minority women and girls of the region.
Thanks also for your great podcast, it is a pleasure to listen to so many interesting people. Just realised I have a couple of episodes to catch up on!
Thanks, Barry – it’s inspiring to hear stories of people that are so dedicated to making a difference in the world! Really glad that you’re enjoying the podcast as well!
It is such an important cause to support!
Thanks, Marysia – I agree! Thanks for helping to raise awareness yourself on your great blog!
Ben and John certainly seem to be living congruent lives, well done on publicising their story and I hope Ben raises what he needs for the next stage – this is a horrifying issue which really doesn’t get enough visibility.
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