I had heard a lot about the making of the film, but entered the premier with few expectations. When I walked into the small, pop-up gallery in downtown Salt Lake City, I was surprised to see the walls adorned with unique, colorful pieces of art.
After only a few minutes at the event, I quickly learned that we were all there for more than a video premier, we were there to support a cause. Proceeds and exposure created by the art and music being presented were partially going to a charity, a charity whose mission is to end human trafficking and modern day slavery.
Before the music video premiered, a slender 19-year-old girl flowed on stage. She told us about her fortune being adopted from her home country of Ghana at the age of three and coming to the United States to be raised by a loving family.
She told us, through a moving spoken-word poem, about the others in her country who were not as fortunate. Others, just like her, who found themselves sold into modern day slavery and treated as commodities of little worth.
This young woman is named Lillian Nana Adjoa Martino, and she began a charity called Fahodie for Friends when she was just 16-years-old. “Fahodie” means “freedom” in Ghanaian, and that’s what Lillian and her charity work for each day.
On Fahodie for Friend’s website, they state their mission: “By working together we can be the generation to end human trafficking and slavery. We can change the lives of children and provide them with a new future…a future full of hope and freedom through the power of education.”
I was moved at how art, community and charity had come together at this event to support a cause that truly deserves more recognition. I was motivated to share this group’s efforts and their #IAmYourFriend campaign to anyone willing to listen and perhaps get involved with this noble cause.
Fahodie and Friends is raising awareness about their cause using social media and active community voices like you and me. They are also accepting volunteers that want to be a part of the cause and donations to help start rescue and education programs for children, teenagers and adults who have been subjected to slavery.
You can learn more about ways you can help here.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead