We have chosen to focus on people who are working hard to make our world a better place as we work to process the horrific events of last week. One such person is Angela Crocker, a wife, mother, and pastor from Christchurch. We chatted to Angela about her project, Bird in a Cage, which seeks to help end human trafficking.
Why do you think this campaign is important?
This campaign is not just another idea that puts money in the pocket of an individual. The Bird in a Cage crowdfunding campaign is all about raising start up money for a social enterprise to help in the fight against human trafficking. 100% of profits each year will be donated to organisations that are supporting human trafficking victims, prosecuting the criminals and working on preventative trafficking measures and research in this area.
In light of recent events in Christchurch, this campaign seems less important than it did a week ago! However, in contemplating it, I realise it raises a societal issue about the value or lack of value placed on human life. In one sense, human trafficking puts a price on a body, selling and reselling it for the pleasure of others. In the terror attack on the mosques last week, no value was placed on human life at all, making it another kind of commodity to serve one man’s depraved desire.
But back to the question… this is important because it has the potential to help a lot of people, for many years to come. I have heard many stories from survivors and it’s hard to even think about the atrocities they’ve been through. Many in poor regions are even sold by their parents (as young as four years old) into the sex trade, doubling the loss, grief and pain suffered. Something must change! It’s important because more of the world need to understand what a horrific situation we’ve allowed society to get to when it’s common practice for women and children’s bodies to have become a currency.
The first stage of Bird in a Cage will be to create a jewellery range (from design through to manufacturing to packaging). The jewellery range is what we’ve used as our incentive rewards to pledge. At this point our pledgers don’t even know what they’ll look like! Very trusting people they are!
As women and children go through recovery programmes, they need to go back into society with a plan to support themselves. My hope is that Bird in a Cage will grow and develop to the point where these women and families can start making the products (we will be expanding beyond jewellery) and contributing to Bird in a Cage while earning a good and safe living.
What motivated you to reach out to your crowd?
I’ve been sitting on this idea for a couple of years and have talked to lots of people about it. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and it’s taken a few people giving me a push to take the plunge. I just didn’t know how to start… my background is in marketing/advertising and I had several people from accounting to legal to social enterprise starters and business owners giving me great advice – but I didn’t have the money to get it off the ground. I researched what was available in the way of start-up grants, but they are all geared towards research and development or technology.
So…. I thought that if enough people cared about making a difference, maybe, just maybe, I could get to my goal and stock my first order of jewellery to kick the company off. And then everyone who invested in the PledgeMe campaign would also have an inheritance in all the people that are helped by Bird in a Cage in the future.
What do you have planned for the rest of the campaign – anything for us to look forward to?
A couple of developments coming soon – I’m going to be able to add a lower cost reward for those that contribute $20. A wonderful, generous hearted friend has offered to make pure soaps (oatmeal, pink clay, black clay and plain) stamped with the Bird in a Cage logo and packaged.
Also, design work on the jewellery is coming along nicely so I’m hoping to get the public voting on a few options and finding out what the favourite design is. I’ll add the info for this in the updates section soon! Hopefully that will encourage more people to get involved in the campaign and have some ownership. Of course, I’ll listen more to the pledgers than anyone else!
Anything you would like to shout out to your crowd?
Just the biggest thank you to those that have pledged so far, I can’t do this without you all! Less than four weeks left in the campaign and over $7,000 to raise so it’s no small thing but I have faith that if enough people hear about this and care about the issue we can get there! Please share and encourage the people in your lives to pledge too!