“We wanted to open girls’ eyes to an issue that is huge in and around Omaha and bring awareness to the halls of Marian,” Human Trafficking Awareness Club moderator Ms. Caitlin Gaule said.
The club has been raising awareness surrounding the topic of human trafficking since the spring of 2017. The club’s founder, senior Jacquie Smith, said that becoming educated on the topic is the first step to creating change.
“I started the club because I realized that it was a big issue in the greater Omaha area for a variety of women. I felt like the best way to make a difference was to create a platform for education here at Marian,” Smith said.
Along with bringing awareness, the group has worked with organizations around Omaha as well, including the Human Trafficking Coalition. Smith says working with other organizations opens up an opportunity for girls to get involved with the club and the issue at large. “We’ve connected with lots of different coalitions and people in the past and we’re planning more events in order for girls to have more chances to involve themselves with our work. We believe that word of mouth is the fastest way to educate and protect young girls and we want to plan our events to promote that idea,” Smith said.
The group had plans to host guest speaker and candidate for congressional office Gladys Harrison and to sell bracelets made by human trafficking survivors at a future bake sale, but all of that is on hold with the current COVID-19 situation.
The club hopes that in educating and involving young women in the efforts to combat human trafficking, they can do their part in creating change.