Restore the Light - Danica Fuimaono
Every Minute of Every Day
When asked what is most challenging about her work as Restore the Light founder and Executive Director, Dr. Danica Fuimaono says, "People do not like to get uncomfortable or believe that what we present on is happening near them. Listening to what we present on is uncomfortable and believing it is unsettling, but the reality is that the people living it are far more uncomfortable and the daily reality they experience is far more unsettling."
So let’s get uncomfortable.
Let’s face the truth that slavery exists in our world today – it can exist in every community across the country, and could even happen in Blue Springs. According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there are an estimated 20.9 millions victims of modern-day slavery throughout the world. Victims include men, women, and children. Victims are both foreign nationals and US citizens. Victims are exploited by traffickers who use coercion, force, or fraud to profit billions of dollars annually off the demand for cheap labor and commercial sex.
But there is hope. Organizations such as Restore the Light are bringing awareness to this dark criminal industry by educating the community about the existence of domestic human trafficking, increasing awareness of predatory tactics, and providing insight on signs that someone may be a victim of such exploitation. Focusing primarily on educating the community about sex trafficking of minors domestically, Danica and other volunteers and board members provide educational presentations to local businesses, schools, churches, and other organizations. "Unfortunately so many people are not fully aware of the frequency of human trafficking in the United States or even in their community," Danica says. "The reality is that it happens every day and every minute of every day."
Danica, an administrator in the Blue Springs School District, has a passion to educate not only our youth, but our community as well by bringing attention to the often unrecognized reality of these crimes. "As someone who has a vested interest in youth as my mission both professionally and personally, I was shocked to learn of how prevalent [human trafficking] was around me. Even more so I was surprised that it was happening so close to the youth that I work with and that I had no idea," she says. "I genuinely feel called to protect and educate people. To have a chance to help someone live this life in a way that is guided with knowledge that could keep them safe is an extremely powerful combination."
Follow Restore the Light on Facebook to learn more.
For information, statistics, and resources regarding human trafficking, visit www.humantraffickinghotline.org.