This weekend some of the FS staff had the opportunity to be part of a small group of organizations in the area focused on trafficking/freedom from the sex trade to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her visit here. The two day event consisted of setting up tables about the work that each org. does or displaying products in the case of FS and being available to meet with those who were part of Sec. Clinton's group or were invited to come and see her. I can only imagine the security nightmare that this city would present so her staff decided to bring the city to her instead of taking her out into the city.
The photo below is of her holding a sari blanket made by one of our sister businesses. She purchased one of our bags, too!
The event was organized by the current US ambassador who has been to FS and has a heart for our area. Hopefully it raised awareness in the State Department and helped them to understand the idea of using a business for social justice instead of just the NGO model.
I hope it made an impact not just in their heads but on their hearts.
While I understand the difficulties of bringing dignitaries into the area (Apparently it was quite unnerving for the Ambassador's bodyguard as Kerry took him through the lanes a while back!), I wish they could have come anyway. There's something about seeing a place with your own eyes that personalizes it and leaves a more lasting impression. People who come and experience both the horror and the joy of this place themselves are those who become the best advocates around the world for the girls at FS and sister businesses who now have hope-----and for the thousands who are still trapped standing in line.