Club targets modern slavery through awareness and fundraisers


Cooper Meldrum

The club meets Thursday mornings in D128.

After spending 14 years in Hong Kong and Shanghai and witnessing human slavery on a daily basis , junior Arianne Ohman moved to the US last year and decided to take action.

“While I was living there, I did all that I could to help out with the issue,” said Ohman. “I volunteered constantly. But when I moved to the US last year, I still felt like I had to be doing something and that’s exactly why I brought IJM to the school.”

International Justice Mission (IJM) is an global organization focused on raising awareness for modern slavery, including human trafficking occuring in third world countries. Ohman started the club with two goals in mind, both of which hold importance to her.

Firstly, it’s to raise awareness for this issue,” Ohman said. “Secondly, it’s to create and foster community within the school where we can not only get to know each other, but work together and be able to just have a separate community within the school to be able to instigate change.”

There’s an estimated 40.3 million people involved in modern slavery around the world. As an extension of the international organization, the club aims to raise money for the cause.  

We raise money and raise awareness for the bigger organizations who do the real work [in countries with slavery],” junior and club historian Sophie Antoniuk said.

The club is planning to have a booth at Leopard Friday and hold fundraisers throughout the year to reach their goal of $500.

Hopefully, we’ll have two fundraisers this year,” Ohman said. “We’re not quite sure what those will entail yet. The plan right now is to host them sometime during lunch, and maybe sell something like baked goods or something like that.”
One of the main goals of the club is to educate others about modern slavery. Club secretary Melissa Morales believes that being aware of such issues is crucial.

“[Modern slavery and other world issues are] what I feel is very important to spread awareness,” Morales said. “This [year] is the first time I heard of slavery being occurring today, and so I’m sure other people haven’t heard of it too.”

Ohman said she hopes the club will bring the Lovejoy community together.

“The issue of modern slavery isn’t something that people normally associate with big world issues at the moment,” Ohman said. “So, hopefully, we’ll be able to raise awareness within the community. Even if people aren’t a part of our club, they’ll still be more conscious of the issue and be able to understand how they can play a part in bringing the issue to a close.”