"Young people these days just don't..."
"Teenagers have no respect/self-control/understanding/compassion..."
"blah, blah, blah, horrid teenagers, blah, blah blah, I haven't actually spoken with one in years but blah blah I'm sure I don't want to!"
Well. Sure there might be some tiny grain of truth in statements like that but you know what? There's a whole lot of teens out in the world who are awesome. I happen to know quite a few them. One particular teen is a 17 year old girl we call Emred (Em for Emilie and red for her stunning hair!). Let me share a teensy bit of her story and why she is on the list of people I massively admire:
In July Emred went to the Hillsong Conference in Sydney and heard Christine Cain from the A21 Campaign speak about the epidemic that is human trafficking in our world. When she learnt that there are 27 million slaves in the world TODAY she knew she had to do something. After talking with some of the other girls in the boarding house, the head dorm parent and myself she put together a folder full of research and letter to the principal outlining her proposal. And so is born Girls4Girls.
Her goal is to raise awareness first among her fellow boarders, then the wider school community and eventually anyone she comes across. Why raise awareness? Because when we know what is going on we can each work toward abolishing it in any way we can.
She has so far been teaching the girls in the dorm about the slave trade and helped them to write letters to girls who have been rescued from it.
She has been speaking with local businesses about donating products to go into care packages for the girls who have been rescued.
And she is organising a walkathon to raise funds to help the people who are putting their lives at risk to rescue girls, and to help those who have been rescued take their captors to court.
This is girls with everything giving up something for girls who have had everything taken from them.
This is girls with a heart and a passion showing love in a practical way to girls who are being shown pain and cruelty.
This is girls stepping outside their comfortable lives for girls whose lives are horrendously uncomfortable.
This is girls fighting, working, praying, sticking up for girls.
This is girls loving girls the will never meet just because they believe God has given us all a right to be free and loved.
This is Girls4Girls.
Think you can't make a difference in the world? Within the space of a few weeks Em has gone from not knowing about slavery in the modern world to being a major advocate slaves. She's only 17. And she is already changing the world.
What will you do today?
Make sure you head over to Emred's Girls4Girls blog to read how things are going. Consider becoming a follower to stay up to date and definitely leave her an encouraging comment.