As a schoolteacher with plans to eventually become a principal, Cammy Bowker was certain she had her life all planned out.
Then, during a trip to Mexico, she happened upon a tiny, run-down schoolhouse.
The sight of that dilapidated building, coupled with the thought of all the children whom she had encountered since her arrival, stirred her soul—she decided that she needed to do something to help these kids and others like them.
By the time she got back to the United States, Cammy was certain that she was supposed to broaden her life plan to include building schools and providing resources for children living in impoverished areas of the world.
She wasted no time in getting the ball rolling and Global Education Philanthropists was founded in June 2017.
A drastic change of plans…
Cammy had no way of knowing that the focus of her educational platform would change from reading, writing, and arithmetic on her very first mission trip to Haiti. That’s because even though her life plan hadn’t included serving in the military, the heart of a warrior beats inside her.
She went to visit an orphanage located directly across from the school where she had delivered supplies. While there, she learned that most of the children were originally from the Dominican Republic. They had been rescued from the dark world of child sex trafficking and placed in the orphanage.
She had trouble wrapping her head around that, but once it had registered, she couldn’t stop thinking about it.
She began to learn everything she could about the subject and unsurprisingly, was horrified by what she discovered. So much so, in fact, that she quit her job as a teacher and vowed to dedicate her life to ending this atrocity.
She joined the war to eliminate human trafficking around the globe—and she knew exactly with whom she needed to build her army.
Cammy’s organization immediately altered course.
Her organization, Global Education Philanthropists, began educating children, parents, and entire communities about human trafficking, and she began looking for partners—both from the business community for financial and operational support, and the veteran and intelligence communities for tactical support.
Fighting trafficking through education
There is no doubt that human trafficking is the world’s fastest-growing crime. In fact, it’s estimated that there are between 27 and 30 million victims of human trafficking around the world.
That figure grows more horrific when you realize that it includes an estimated 10,075,000 children.
Global Education Philanthropists focuses on empowering communities worldwide using prevention, education, and aftercare to battle human trafficking. The organization works closely with survivor experts and trauma-informed mental health professionals to create aftercare programs that enable people to avoid returning to enslavement.
Extracting victims from the horror of human trafficking isn’t the end of the mission because statistics show that the average trafficked person returns to their trafficker between seven and fifteen times. By working to transform rescued victims, Global Education Philanthropists gives them the tools they need to totally escape that world.
Strategic partnerships led to new capabilities
Global Education Philanthropists recently partnered with Adaptive Operations to strategically fight child trafficking on a global scale. Today, they work to locate missing children, gather information about abducted victims, and are actively involved in executing rescue missions around the world.
Together, the two organizations are committed to providing prevention and education initiatives, extraction support, advocacy programs, reintegration education, resources for survivors, survivor leadership, and mentoring.
Civilians who feel led to be part of a rescue mission are welcomed to the group. Adaptive Operations provides the necessary tactical training. “We are building an army to fight this atrocity!” Cammy said, “and by banding together, we can all make a difference.”
Boots on the ground everywhere
If we can bear to think about human trafficking at all, most of us envision a dark underworld where victims are locked away far from prying eyes. You may not have been aware of the fact, but human trafficking victims live among us every day too.
Traffickers use force and coercion to compel their slaves to be obedient. They’re taught how to speak to police and private investigators, assuring them that everything’s fine when in reality they are at the beck and call of the trafficker.
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that once Cammy got the word out that she needed help, people stepped up to fight this atrocity.
Participating in rescue missions both here in the United States and abroad, many Veterans have had another opportunity to use their unique skills for good, in this case, to find and extract trafficking victims back to safety. The business community also participated by leveraging their resources and connections to support her efforts.
“During a meeting for a group I’m involved in, called Board of Advisors, fellow members stepped up in a big way. My organization had recently located and identified several children who were victims of human trafficking in the Dominican Republic, and when I brought this up at the meeting, one of the members got on stage and challenged fellow members to contribute to funding a mission to rescue these children and get them to safety. In the span of about five minutes, these amazing people had donated over $25,000 to help us rescue these innocent children.”
Empowering communities worldwide
We need to continue to bring awareness to the fact that human trafficking happens everywhere.
We should all want to find a way to help.
Of course, everyone isn’t cut out to be a part of an actual rescue mission, but we can still support the army of warriors working day and night to rescue these victims.
Millions of children need us.
Danger is even lurking in your own backyard…
Talk to your children about the importance of internet safety because there are predators lurking in plain sight.
In fact, it’s estimated that eighty percent of children that go missing are first groomed online.
This includes the obvious places like social media, but it also includes less obvious places, like private messages in video games.
That’s why Cammy’s organization has partnered with The CleanerNet, a cloud-based internet management system that allows parents to choose the type of content that each family member can access online. And, when the app is installed on their devices, it goes everywhere they do.
And subscriptions to The CleanerNet not only helps protect you and your family while online, but a portion of your monthly subscription also goes directly to organizations like Cammy’s that are actively engaged in the war on human trafficking.