Most people know that the world is full of threats of violence, oppression, and assault. Many people at Northwestern College do not directly experience this though. According to campus surveys, 96 percent of all students polled feel “extremely safe” on campus.
However, the campus is an outlier when it comes to safety and comfort. International Justice Missions, or IJM, has been fighting violence since 1994. Specifically, IJM helps those living in poverty.
One of their brochures states, “People in poverty are uniquely vulnerable to this everyday violence, because while their wealthier neighbors can pay for security and safety, they cannot.”
IJM looks to end this type of violence against the helpless by strengthening justice systems, rescuing and restoring victims, bringing criminals to justice and demanding protection. Oftentimes, the view of those living in poverty is based solely on the necessities of life. Those living in poverty need food, water and shelter, but they also need the protection they deserve.
Because of IJM, over 57,000 people have been rescued from injustice and over 2,300 perpetrators have been sentenced to justice. However, IJM’s goal has not been reached. By 2030, they hope to partner with many local authorities to protect 500 million people from violence.
At NW, Zoe Heemstra and Lily Anderson continue to bring recognition to the problem of violence against those living in poverty. President of the IJM campus chapter at NW, Heemstra really wants to shine light specifically on the global issue of human trafficking.
A long-time Orange City resident, Heemstra, states, “I have seen the effect of ignoring humanitarian issues and shoving evidence of injustices under the rug.”
That is why she and Anderson will be holding bi-weekly meetings for anyone to join who is passionate about ending human trafficking.
Heemstra and Anderson will be focusing on raising human trafficking awareness specifically in India, where 23,396 men, women and children have already been saved from this form of human slavery.
They also will focus on prayer and fundraising with different events being held throughout the school year. The kickoff event will be held on September 14. They will go over IJM’s work and why awareness is so important for these issues.
Another exciting opportunity will be held on October 30. A pop-up thrift store will be opening up for the entire campus and Orange City community. All proceeds earned will go directly to IJM, who will then use the proceeds to fund seven rescue operations this fall.
There will be additional events including a designated two days to fast throughout the rest of this fall. If you have any questions about IJM or the events being planned, contact Zoe Heemstra or Lily Anderson.