I hope that this finds you safe and sound and surrounded by people you love. This year has definitely presented some interesting and challenging times, but hopefully some joyful and peaceful times as well. Here is a brief summary of what Relentless has been doing over the last few months.
The Doctor Is IN! Webinar and Podcast
The webinar/podcast project about human trafficking with a focus on health and well-being continued with a mix of live webinars and recorded podcasts. The free live webinars feature an unrecorded Q&A where participants have the opportunity to interact with me and my guests. If you haven’t joined us before I hope to see you soon!
A few highlighted webinar topics include:
- You will be inspired by the work that Jennifer is doing through her outreach to women trafficked in brothels in Houston, TX!
- Dr. Judy joined me a for a couple of episodes to discuss how she integrates her work as a physician with care for survivors in Cambodia. She then joined me to discuss what trauma-informed care looks like for doctors on a practical level.
- I recorded a three-part series on the Essential Principles of Self-Care.
- Other topics include Sleep and Trauma, Deplorable NGOs, and more.
Virtual & Remote Workshops
The training workshops for organizations in Greece, Portugal, and Luxembourg weren’t able to happen in person, but I was still able to do them virtually. Other organizations have decided to postpone or cancel their workshops. I’ve continued to hold a monthly education session with social workers about trauma-informed care and various health topics.
There is a lot that can be done over zoom, but it will never replace what can be done in person. I’m grateful for the technology that provides opportunities to continue to educate and train people. It takes a lot of creativity to do it well and I’m still learning. However, I do long for the days to connect in person again. There is a treasure of knowledge, relationship-building, and fun that happens during the “in-between” times at conferences.
Once a week I lead a volunteer team at a drop-in center for prostituted women in one of the red-light districts. I cherish these opportunities to meet these people face-to-face and be human together. We had a joke about Gucci bags – see photo below. They have had it very rough and the restrictions became even more strict and are only now letting up. Last November I recorded a webinar about prostitution in Germany and how the pandemic and subsequent restrictions have impacted the women’s situation here please see my webinar and this blog post.
The Wider Network
While the pandemic measures have restricted movement, they have lead to an expansion of international connections. Not only have I been able to give workshops virtually, but I’ve been able to increase my participation in several networks. The European Freedom Network is a network of European-based counter-trafficking organizations and there have been a number of interesting projects launched in the last year or so. One project I facilitate is a group that is developing a toolkit on how to work with transgender individuals who are in prostitution. I have also been approved to be a community partner leader in the Global Learning Community – which is a global network of grassroots organizations with the mission to support and equip the members for effective counter-trafficking work. These projects continue to develop and I’m excited to see how this will impact the counter-trafficking movement in general.
Thank you very much to all of you for your faithful support, your generous giving, and your determined interest and advocacy! I wish all of you a splendid summer, wherever you are. Please stay safe and take care! These times remind us all of how much we truly need each other!