Your Book of "Yes"
Definition: Human Trafficking is coercing, moving and exploiting its victims for financial gain.
It is a global and generational issue all at the same time. Why, because organized crime groups can work in the shadows and move seamlessly around the world to facilitate the movement of humans for their personal gain. Despite being a global issue, it is happening in neighbourhoods all across the world. And, probably yours.
Why? In Canada, eighty-nine (89) percent of human trafficking comes from within our borders. Scary thought. And, sixty (60) percent of victims are under the age of 18 years old.
Yes, even scarier!
Reflecting on Episode 11.
Josh and I had the good fortune to sit down with Timea Nagy, a survivor of human trafficking. She was forced into sex slavery in 1998 when she was tricked into coming to Canada under the pretence of being a nanny. Her captors used many different tactics to break her spirit. Tactics that included death threats, sexual assault, and being denied the basic necessities of living a normal life. There were a lot of reasons for Timea to give up hope. Instead, she found a way to escape and eventually she was able to begin her healing journey.
What got her through the darkness? It was the knowledge that she was "someone" prior to any of this and that those dreams did not die. She had hope. This was something her captors could not take away; her willingness to never give up on those dreams.
The road travelled has not been easy for Timea. She overcame a language barrier, immigration issues, and cultural embarrassment. Eventually, she found her voice and became an advocate for victims in Canada. At first, she opened a frontline agency that created a safe space for victims of human trafficking. This was a place they could go once they were freed from their captors. Timea's work filled a major void. It helped communities across Ontario. Timea became an ally in the fight, assisting law enforcement and other agencies. However, due to the lack of funding, she was eventually forced to close her doors on the very foundation she started.
Undeterred, she carried on by creating a social enterprise that now helps survivors of human trafficking acquire skills and to rebuild their self worth. Timea's Cause has taken the lead on addressing this generational issue in a major way.
It might sound like it was a straight path to success. But, as Timea explains in our discussion, there were a lot of "no's" along the way. And these "no's" became motivation. Every "no" was written down in her book of "yes". A book that she kept that listed all of things she desired to do. To say she was undeterred from achieving them would be an understatement.
She hasn't accomplished them all, but she is making progress.
Today, she can be found travelling across Canada and the United States helping front line workers, law enforcement, and the financial sector understand Human Trafficking, Victimology, and what they can do to mobilize their respective communities. It starts by all of those people creating their own book of "yes". Saying "yes" to the desire to do something that has a major impact and "no" to tolerating the traffickers operating within the shadows of their community.
She is a facilitator helping communities realize that they all need to do their part!
And, through this work she has inspired many people to be an instigator of change.
How bad do you want it?
Those who want it bad enough, take rejection and write it down. They never let their dream die. They create vivid visuals in their mind on what the dream looks like and replay it over and over again.
How long is that motion picture in your mind?
Have you given up or are you still working towards it?
Timea Nagy is nothing short of a remarkable human being. When it could have been a lot easier to fold and give up, she stood up, and kept fighting for herself, her dreams, and more importantly, the people who could not fight for themselves. She is a warrior.
To hear her remarkable story, download the podcast.
You can also support her and survivors of Human Trafficking by visiting Timea's Cause.