International Justice Mission (IJM) is a global ministry that focuses on protecting people in poverty from violence as well as combatting human trafficking and slavery. 

Akosua Asare Asamoah works for IJM in Ghana in survivor services. 

"I'm a social worker by profession and I work in the aftercare department with IJM," says Asamoah. "I make sure that survivors who are rescued from trafficking are placed in shelters. We collaborate with them to have a care plan for them as far as their health, education, and general well-being is concerned."

Once a child that has been trafficked is rescued, they are assessed as is their family. If the family is a safe place for them to return, Asamoah and her team help the child be reintegrated back home, where the restoration journey continues. 

"Even when the child is reintegrated back into their family, my work doesn't stop there. There's a probability that the child could be re-trafficked or any form of abuse or exploitation. So there is supervision and follow-up. When we come here we see ourselves like parents for the children because we are thinking, what would be good for this child and what could restore this child into strength, safety, and hope."

Deb Firth from Lethbridge, Alta, has been supporting IJM for roughly 15 years. In the past few years, she went even further in her support by going on mission trips to Guatemala and the Philippines to see the work being done by IJM. 

"I really love meeting the IJM staff and learning more about their focus of work in that particular country. For example, in Guatemala, the focus is primarily on sexual violence against women and children. In Manila, their work has shifted from the sex trafficking of children to the insidious crime of online sexual exploitation of children, or OSEC. These trips allow me to come home and speak more authentically and with more passion about the work IJM does."

Firth has spoken at her church following the mission trips and last year during advent her church held a fundraiser during the advent season that raised over $300,000 to help the work being done by IJM. 

Lorianne Dueck spent her childhood in Winnipeg before moving to Emo, a town of 1400 in North-Western Ont. and has been with IJM since October 2020. Authoring case studies, supporting businesses, volunteering for faith organizations, and fundraising for not-for-profits have grown her passion for helping others to find a practical way to love their neighbour – especially those in vulnerable situations. 

"I believe that change is possible. As Christians, we believe that redemption is possible. Change is possible. Life is possible. Justice as possible. God makes that happen and He asks us to be a part of bringing that into our community. So that's the first reason why I'm passionate about it is because it's the reality that we live in and we can bring that about."