20-30 million people are enslaved in the world TODAY. The average cost of a human being is $5, in one of the largest growing industries in the world. Girls as young as 1 years old have been found being trafficked in brothels around the world. Boys as young a 3 have been enslaved on fishing boats in Ghana. Men and women, girls and boys, are born into a life of servitude due to a $10 loan their father’s grandfather took out in order to save the life of a family member.
I have a really incredible friend. Her name is Jes, and we have been friends since forever. Jes is a teacher like me, and Jes has a heart for humans. She has done some really incredible things in the last decade, including working as a full-time SpEd teacher and part-time in an after-school community school program. She has partnered with an orphanage in Ghana and visits at least annually in addition to raising funds to support the children living there. And, each year, Jes participates in ‘Dressember‘: an annual, month-long campaign to aid the fight against sex trafficking. For the last four years, Jes–along with women around the world–wears a dress every day in December to draw attention to human trafficking and to raise funds to support those fighting against it.
“To many people, dresses represent fragility, weakness, and inequality. We [at Dressember] believe it is time to reclaim them”.
In 2015 and 2016, Jes wore the same dress every day during December. This year, Jes will be wearing a different dress every day. Each dress will be named for a child or an adult that she has met that was or had been enslaved. Each day, she will be sharing a photo of the dress along with the story of the person that it represents. You can read the stories on her blog here.
I had breakfast with Jes while I was home for Thanksgiving last week, and we talked about how I could support what she is doing. We came up with the idea of sharing the stories of her dresses here, on my blog, in Spanish so that you can share them with your students.
Please consider joining Jes and me in this campaign. Here are three ways to be part of this important work:
- Donate to Jes’ campaign. Her goal is to raise $300.00. My blog has 15,000 readers. Most of those readers have 30-200 students. Please donate and share her campaign with your students. Here is the link: https://support.dressemberfoundation.org/fundraiser/jes-sudol .
- Read Jes’ stories. Share her original stories (published on her blog in English) with your sphere, or share my adapted translations of her stories in Spanish with your students. I will be publishing them on the Revista Literal blog so that students who have subscribed receive the stories in their inboxes. The story of Ama–the December 1 dress–is there waiting for you.
- Join the campaign by becoming an advocate. Wear a dress every day for the rest of the month and start your own individual or team fundraiser on the Dressember platform. Click here for more information.
6 replies on “Dressember: Day 1 – La historia de Ama”
Wow! One year old! Even at any age it is very sad but 1 year old?! It’s unfathomable. Thank you for bringing this difficult subject to all of our attention. God bless you and your family Martina!
Thank you for sharing this with me. It opens my eye to notice things outside of my comfort zone. In my school district, there is a large Ghanian population. I have several students and one colleague from Ghana. I need to think how to approach this in Chinese class.
If I hear of any resources, I will let you know!! You can always translate portions of Jes’ original posts (which are in English) into Chinese!
What would be interesting is to incorporate a clothing unit to discuss the differences in clothing throughout the Spanish speaking world as well.
This is so important Martina. Thank you for writing about this and getting it out to your subscribers. I wish I wasn’t out of my classroom at the moment so I could incorporate it into my curriculum.