SOUTH FLORIDA – January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and January 11, is considered Human Trafficking Awareness Day. For the second year, the Caribbean Antitrafficking Committee (CAC) of the Female Development World Organization Inc. (FDWO) hosted a National Day of Prayer led by Father Horace Ward of Holy Family Ministry Episcopal Church in Miami Gardens. This was followed by Food Distribution at the church.
The Members of CAC living in the United States and Jamaica along with Rev Valda Kelso McDonald in Canada contributed to offering Prayers and reading scriptures. The President, Dr Lavern Deer read President Biden’s Proclamation for Human Trafficking Month. The proclamation reiterated, “Around the world, human trafficking has stripped nearly 25 million people of their safety, dignity, and liberty — disproportionately affecting historically underserved and marginalized communities. During National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, we reaffirm our commitment to ending this inhumane and immoral practice in all its forms. And as we bring perpetrators to justice, we renew our pledge to help survivors recover and rebuild their lives.”
Day of Prayer
The highlight of the Day of Prayer was the testimonial of Chiquita Tillman, Author, survivor and thriver of human trafficking. She rejoiced at being rescued and reminded us of the need for mental health services for rescued victims, survivors and thrivers.
Farm Share Food Distribution
The day continued with the members of CAC joining forces with Community Partner, Positive People Network in a Farm Share Food Distribution at Holy Family Ministry Episcopal Church. They provided food to 500 households. The supplies ran out two hours before the scheduled time.
Human Trafficking Awareness
The Day of Prayer ended with a Human Trafficking Awareness community alliance meeting. The meeting was spearheaded by Colonel David Holmes, Executive Director Department of Law Enforcement, Broward Sheriff’s Office and his BSO Team.
“We at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office take the crime of Human Trafficking Very Seriously! We have and will continue to utilize our specialized resources that work so diligently in investigating these types of crimes,” Colonel Holmes.
Also, in attendance were Julie Fishman, representing Senator Rosalind Osgood’s office. Plus, Dr. Lavern Deer, FDWO Founder, CEO and CAC Chair, and Human Trafficking Survivor Chiquita Tillman. Tillman joined virtually from Atlanta, Georgia. The purpose of the meetings is to ensure the awareness continues to impact our communities year-round.
Female Development World Organization Caribbean Anti-Trafficking Committee extends heartfelt thank you to its partners. Partners included Holy Family Episcopal Church, Positive People Network, Jamaica Women of Florida (JWOF), One Community Alliance Network Inc. In addition, Jamaica Nurses Association of Florida, On the Go Cleaning Solutions, and Bel Imaj Beauty. Plus, Caribbean National Weekly, Rodney Baltimore-Hot 105 and South Florida Caribbean News.