Today's guest post is from Aisling Bennet, who works with Oasis UK and is a proud advocate against human trafficking through the medium of long-distance running. For more information about In the Long Run, please visit ITLR.org
I have always enjoyed running, and so when I found out about ITLR, I thought it would be a good personal challenge that also raises awareness about Human Trafficking - an issue that sadly affects over 35 million people worldwide.
In March 2015 I took part in my first ITLR event in South Africa and the experience was like no other. Not only did we get to travel across South Africa and work alongside some amazing organisations, we met incredible people and shared information and advice about Human Trafficking and actually made a difference!
I know it probably sounds like a bizarre thing. How can running 10km a day for 14 days have an impact on human trafficking? But in South Africa we proved it can. After the team visited a local school and met with students and staff to raise awareness, the head teacher contacted the helpline we gave him and reported some concerning behaviour of men in the community. This phone call helped authorities to identify and arrest the men for the trafficking and abuse of over 400 girls.
I often get asked why I want to do these runs and this is always the story I tell. It is the reason I push through with my training when all I want to do is stop. I think of those 400 girls but also of the millions more at risk, and I keep on running!
If you are thinking about joining the team in India – do it! You will get to experience India in a completely unique way with a group of fabulous people, and more importantly, you could help save someone from a lifetime of servitude.