Friday, 19 August 2011

The Grey Man

About 6 weeks I was in desperate need of a new book to read, scanning the shelves of every book store in a 50km radius, I was finding it impossible to see a title that jumped out at me. After hundreds of dull, boring & uninteresting titles I seen it, "The Grey Man".

Okay I know "The Grey Man" is not an exciting title but a bell went off in my mind, I had heard of this book somehow, for the life of me I could not remember where. I snatched the book off the shelf, scanned over a few pages and was out of the shop in 5 minutes with -$25.95 in my pocket.

What is "The Grey Man"? The Grey Man is a book by Founder John Curtis, His undercover was against the child sex trade in Asia and the story of how The Grey Man organisation started. I must say what this man started is amazing  extraordinary! My jaw was literally on the floor. But more to the point is this post isn't about the book itself but the international organisation this man started, with his own money, in a strange country, leaving his whole life behind!

"The Grey Man is an international organisation dedicated to eradicating the trafficking and exploitation of children. Our main role is the rescue of children from traffickers. However, early on we realised that rescuing children was not enough. Once they enter sex work they can become socialised to their life there and it becomes difficult to convince them that they deserve something better. Many of them will be physically or psychologically damaged and face the prospect of death from AIDS. We realised that we needed to stop them from entering the sex trade in the first place. Based in Brisbane, Australia our activities are focused on the countries of South East Asia."

I have a great amount of respect and admiration for what John Curtis started. It proves one person can make a difference in the world. Now he is the founder of an amazing organization doing all they can to try and put a stop to child trafficking throughout the world.

Their operations always remains covert, they never record any of the rescues and only ever publish blanked out photos of the children. These people do not believe in exploiting the children in the media for fame and glory as hero's. Generally everything they do is "under the radar", unlike the dramatic raids of other organisations. Though their preferred mode of operation is to win by stealth rather than by force, recently they have become involved in joint operations with the police.

This organisation puts their own people in harms way by going into brothels to get kids out. Some of their people are former special-forces soldiers, some are ex-police but they also have journalists, bikers and academics. In fact, anyone can be a Grey Man. All it takes is to make a stand for something, to declare ‘If not me…then who?’ and most importantly, TAKE ACTION!

We can all make a difference, all it take is one person. I will give you some information from their website on how you can help.

In Thailand right now, young hill-tribe children are being trafficked into prostitution. We have found that the best way to protect these children is to give them an education combined with support for their families in terms of basic staples such as rice and other essentials. This assistance is conditional on the family keeping the child in education. This approach works very well to prevent trafficking.

To provide education for a child and support for the family costs around $400 per year. This is a small price to pay for the life of a child.

You can be a big part of this effort either by making a donation yourself or joining together with a group of 10 friends and contributing $40 each. This donation will put one of these children into education for a whole year. Any amount will help though so feel free to contribute what you can afford.




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