Human trafficking is a topic that, while immensely important, is often shied away from by the media. If you didn’t do your research (or read our website!), in fact, you might not even realize how big of a problem trafficking is worldwide and right here in the United States. Jeremy Lin, professional NBA player for the Brooklyn Nets, has been getting informed and involved. In his off-season, Lin takes trips to Asia every year to greet fans and meet with charities, all while handling priorities associated with his foundation. Recently, Lin has teamed up with two Asian charities focused on empowering young girls and ending human trafficking.
The first of these organizations is called One Day’s Wages. The organization is focused on 10 key issues around the world, including water and sanitation, human trafficking, maternal health, jobs and skills, girl’s empowerment, gender-based violence, and more. It hopes that by focusing on these areas, it can empower communities all over the world. Notably, a lot of the areas it is hoping to improve upon are focused on women and girls. To empower communities, it’s important to note the key role of gender equality. In order for a community to flourish, its women must be given the opportunity to contribute equally and to be treated with respect.
Admirably, Lin chose to donate his game check from the Boston Celtics game on March 17 to One Day’s Wages. He wrote on the organization’s website, “Millions of girls across the globe are unable to get the education they need to provide for themselves and their families. This is due to unaffordable school fees, forced child marriage, lack of sanitary products when they reach puberty, and many other barriers. My hope is to shed some light on these issues, and invite you to join me in taking action.” Lin’s ability to use his voice to spread this critical message is as significant as his decision to donate his check to the organization. He is planning to do the same thing in his upcoming season.
The other charity that Lin has recently started working with is the Hug Project at the Children’s Advocacy Center in Chiang Mai in northwest Thailand. Lin spent some time at the center last week in order to learn more about the organization and the problems it is trying to address. The Hug Project’s mission is to prevent, protect, and restore children from human trafficking, exploitation, and abuse. The organization is committed to using its connections, resources, and talents to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, regardless of status, ethnicity, or any other demographics. During his visit, Lin was given a tour of the facilities, spoke with the leaders about their goals, and played some basketball with the kids.
Lin’s commitment to learning about these issues and helping to bring an end to them is inspiring. Even without a huge public profile, we can all follow his lead by addressing these issues and spreading awareness.
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