With so much talk about the hurt and pain in our world, it can be easy to get bogged down in the problems instead of continuing forward in our fight for justice. Every Friday in the month of December, I’ll be highlighting a company or organization that’s working hard to bring hope and freedom to countless people around the world. Some of them will be local and some global, but each organization is committed to the vision of seeing a world without slavery in our lifetime.
One of the big questions about Dressember is, “Where does the money go?” We want to make sure that our money is actually getting to the people who need it and that it’s being used for good. Dressember Canada is partnering with International Justice Mission Canada, while the Dressember campaign happening around the world is supporting several organizations based in the States but have world-wide reach (one of which you’ll read about next week). All of these organizations are working hard on the ground level to meet survivors and those still trapped in slavery where they are, and 100% of the money raised throughout Dressember goes to these partner organizations. So if you’re from Canada, or donating to a Canadian campaign page, all of the funds raised will go to International Justice Mission Canada (IJM Canada).
International Justice Mission was founded in 1997 by Gary Haugen, who was working as a human rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, where he focused on crimes of police misconduct. The vision of IJM is to “Rescue millions. Protect half a billion. Prove that justice for the poor is unstoppable.” As their name suggests, International Justice Mission operates all over the globe from Thailand to Kenya to South Asia to Bolivia. Their teams have spent over 20 years on the front lines, meeting people face to face, confronting the worst forms of slavery and violence, and helping people find freedom and justice. Those who work at IJM are “inspired by God’s call to love all people and to seek justice. We serve all people, without regard to religion or any other factor, and seek to work alongside all people of goodwill.” These staff members are Christians who are motivated by the Bible’s call to “rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”
By partnering with local authorities, IJM can combat slavery, violence against women and children, and other abuses against the poor. They do this by working on four different levels within the country:
Locate victims and remove them from the place where they’re in danger. Rescue Victims of Violence We help local authorities find people suffering from violence and oppression and bring them to safety.
Bring Criminals to Justice
IJM has teams of lawyers that work tirelessly in local courts to ensure that traffickers, slave owners, rapists, and other criminals are held accountable in court and restrained from hurting others.
Ensuring that survivors have the support and tools they need to heal and to thrive is critical to breaking the cycles of bondage. IJM provides trauma therapy and counselling to survivors of violence and works with partners to give survivors the education, job training or tools they need to thrive once they find freedom
Strengthen Justice Systems
Stopping violence before it starts begins with helping to strengthen local justice systems. IJM teams help to identify gaps in the way systems protect the poor and then work with police, prosecutors, courts and social welfare agencies to address these complex challenges.
“This is the dream we grasp onto when faced with injustice: we want to see a world where not just the oppressed are made free, but where every person is born free and can stay free.” Anu George Canjanathoppil Liberate Conference 2018
Once people are freed from bondage, they aren’t left to their own devices. Instead, IJM has aftercare programs put in place to ensure that they learn life skills and can create a break the cycles of generational bondage. Violent abuses have an immediate and significant impact on victims, which is why each aftercare program offered by IJM is created to meet the individual’s unique needs. These programs include elements such as immediate crisis care, ongoing counselling, legal support, and skills training and education. The goal of these programs is to see survivors restored, meaning that not only do they have hope again, but can they function in society with low vulnerability to being victimized again.
International Justice Mission “helps victims of violence secure justice and partner with key authorities in the justice system to fix what’s broken. By addressing both individual cases and the systemic issues, we break the cycle of crime and vulnerability—helping make everyone safer.”
When you donate to Dressember Canada, you’re helping to bring freedom and justice to thousands all over the world. Not only that, but you’re partnering with hundreds of others who are committed to breaking the cycles of violence and bondage once and for all. If you’re like to donate, follow this link, and thank you for helping bring freedom to all.