We all have our moments of doubt, and there are times when I wonder what I’m doing here in Asia at all.
Surely there’s nothing I can hope to achieve against the Goliath that is human trafficking; surely I’ll never find one kidnapped girl in the world’s most populous country.
Some might say it’s not the most intelligent thing to do, to go investigating organised crime deeply embedded in lands where I can’t even speak the language.
It’s certainly not the most profitable thing to do, having already cost over ten thousand dollars from my own pocket.
It is by no means a safe, easy or comfortable thing to do.
I gave up a good job in a stunningly beautiful part of the Canadian Rockies – for what?
To sink all of my time, money and energy into a search that might well fail.
It could be a lot worse than mere failure, too. There are stories of a Belgian couple who were imprisoned in northern Vietnam for asking too many questions about the abductions of the girls there.
And it’s not just the local girls that disappear, either: I’m told three foreigners disappeared from the area last year. They have not been found, and may never be – there are powerful criminal networks operating in these mountains.
If I do come through unscathed, there’s little to look forward to but months and years stuck in an editing suite to bring you my story.
Why, then, am I here?
Why should anyone step outside their safe and cosy little bubble, put their life on hold, and risk it all?
Because it’s the right thing to do, that’s why.
There are certain things we can all agree are right, and taking a child from her home and family to sell as a sexual object is certainly not one of them.
Yet it happened to my friend M – and it continues to happen to children all around the world, even as I write these words.
I’m doing all I can to learn from local and international organisations combatting this monstrous crime, and using my skills as a photographer and film-maker to expose it.
What can you do?
You can close your eyes, and pretend human trafficking doesn’t destroy the lives of tens of millions of women, men and children around the world.
You can allow it to continue.
Or you can help me.
In two weeks, with the help of some passionate supporters, I’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of a feature-length documentary on the search for my friend, and on the effect of human trafficking on countless lives in every corner of our planet.
Awareness is crucial in the battle against human trafficking, and I’m giving my all to spread the message.
Do your family and friends care about what’s really happening in the world? Please forward this email to them, and ask them to subscribe to my story here.
Do you have any traditional or new media contacts who could help to share my story? Reporters, journalists, bloggers? Please contact me here, and I can send you more information to pass on!
Traffickers have billions of dollars behind them; I have you.
What are you doing today that’s more important?