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Fighting the Ordinary

I thought that what I had seen in Kolkata and Delhi would never fade. The reality of girls and women reduced to things to be bought and sold. The reality of families enslaved for years, perhaps generations. And all of it happening today. Right now!

That was what I thought when I got back from viewing the work of IJM in the field. After all, seeing what I had seen and meeting the people who had been enslaved had a powerful impact on me. But time and the ordinary events of life dim these memories and it was not until I was asked if I could write a blog for the IJM Canada website and I started reading my journal from that trip that these memories came fully back to life.

Don’t get me wrong. I have been busy trying to get the message out to Canadians. I have spoken to groups about the need, the work and what we can do about it. I have been working with others to ensure that funds are raised and that the work can go on. All of that is my ‘ordinary’.

After reading again about the experiences I had in India I have found myself thinking, if I can lose myself in the ordinary events of my life and feel the outrage dim over time, what about people who have never seen it, have never smelled and felt it? How hard is it for them to keep the need front and center in their lives. That is why I am writing this blog and that is why I will keep writing.

I want you to know. I want you to feel. I want you to be just as outraged as I was, and am, that this violence against the poor is taking place. I have two daughters and cannot imagine the pain I would feel if one of them had to endure what millions around the world have to endure every day. That is exactly what so many parents are feeling this minute. What so many children are experiencing.

Jayanthi, pictured on the same day she was rescued from slavery in the rock quarry. She received an official release certificate declaring her free, and the picture she holds was the first drawing she had ever made.

I thank you for reading, for learning about the people we are trying to help. I thank you for deciding to do whatever you can to help. If my posts have brought this to life for you, good! If you have questions, also good! Please ask them and let us answer. We need partners in this work, this fight. We welcome you and all you can bring with you.

Want to get involved? Join us.

Read Glenn's other blog posts in this series:

Blog post #1 - Facing Violence Against the Poor
Blog post #2 - This Is Personal
Blog post #3 - Eyes Wide Open

Glenn Waterman is IJM Canada's Vice-President of Development and Marketing.

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