Human trafficking council seeks to advance

By: Brad Rowland

With lofty goals in mind, the Territorial Anti-Human Trafficking Council recently met for a two-day brainstorming and ideas session. Members of the council met together in Nashville on the campus of Trevecca Nazarene University with an eye toward improving The Salvation Army’s outreach and programming, as well as the opportunity to visit Thistle Farms, an organization offering women hope and healing through a holistic residential program, employment through various social enterprises and a global network dedicated to changing the culture surrounding human trafficking.

The Army’s “Fight for Freedom” campaign includes an action plan to combat human trafficking in four areas and part of the summit centered on setting specific goals in those disciplines. The focuses are: awareness and training, partnerships and advocacy, survivor services and recovery and prevention and outreach.

“The recent Southern Territorial AHT Council Meetings in Nashville were inspiring,” said Elizabeth Hunter, Project FIGHT coordinator, Raleigh, N.C., Area Command. “Spending time with passionate and dedicated advocates from around the territory to develop goals for the territory was exciting, leaving me hopeful for the future of The Salvation Army in the Southern Territory in the anti-human trafficking movement.”

Though not every member of the council territory-wide was able to attend, ideas were shared to be implemented in other communities, with comprehensive notes compiled for distribution. Beyond that, representatives from commands across the South were appreciative of the overarching support and the opportunity.

“It is good to meet face to face with other Salvation Army program staffers to get better insight as to what their programs offer, how we can help each other out,” said Major Rebecca Hogg, associate divisional secretary for women’s ministries in Maryland-West Virginia. “It was also beneficial to discuss what needs there still are and to strategize a plan regarding what we as a team will do in the future to meet these needs. We have come a long way in this ministry, but we have so much more to do.”

While the work in this area centers locally and with precision, inspiration and growth in the area of leadership are important.

“The time together was also a time of renewed focus and passion, especially during our visit to Thistle Farms,” Hunter said. “Together, we were able to learn, challenge ourselves to think outside the box and hopefully move the army forward in a positive direction to help all survivors find victory in this fight.”