We were lucky enough to chat with Christine and hear her heart and vision for ending human trafficking. As you read through her powerful answers keep an open mind & consider how you can make a difference.
Q&A with Christine Caine
1. Can you tell us a bit more about what makes you 'you'?
"Of course! I was adopted at birth and raised by my Greek Orthodox parents in Sydney, I’m now a wife to Nick, a Mum to Catie and Sophia, and I travel the globe preaching, teaching, and advocating for justice! Powered by hot, extra-dry, skinny, cappuccinos, I’m a lover of words who speaks too fast, too much, and I love to write it all down, having written several books with another, ‘Unashamed’, coming out in May! I’m an everyday woman just like you, who once held back, daunted and afraid, but I overcame the shame of my past, the shame of twelve years of childhood abuse, and learning at age thirty-three I was adopted, once unnamed and unwanted, to step into my faith-fuelled purpose. My husband Nick and I founded A21, an anti-human trafficking organisation that fights slavery around the globe. And I have a huge passion for leadership, which I carried into the launch of Propel - dedicated to celebrating every woman’s passion, purpose, and potential, I love to encourage women everywhere to embrace their leadership identity."
2. What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
"Every day is different, but I can tell you that it almost always includes exercise, time in my Word, time with my nose in a book, packing or unpacking a suitcase and holding a microphone, (as well as a cup of coffee – or two – let’s be honest)!"
3. What is your go-to attire when speaking?
"I travel so often that my go-to attire when speaking definitely includes clothes with low-
wrinkle tendencies, versatile essentials that allow me to pack less and mix-and-match more – as well as a few great pairs of shoes that are preferably a combination of unique style and comfort."
4. What lead you to starting The A21 Campaign?
"When I learned that human trafficking was happening, when I heard the tragic stories of those girls, those beautiful girls forced into a life of slavery, I knew I had to do something. Little did we know then what God has in store for now – never could I have imagined what A21 has become!
I wish you could meet Mary – she was one of the first survivors of human trafficking that I met. She travelled from Nigeria to Greece with fifty-nine other girls, in a shipping container. To send their daughter to a land of opportunity, her family gave everything they owned. But instead, the journey lost half the girls to lack of oxygen in the container, and another twenty-five were thrown overboard. Mary, safe but not yet free, shared her story with me.
Sonia, a woman with a similar story, desperately asked a question that unsettled my heart, “Why didn’t you come sooner?” When you look, you can look away or overlook, but when you really see, it means that there’s got to be change and transformation that happens. And once you see, you cannot unsee – that’s when I just knew I had to do everything I could to stop this."
5. How many women have you impacted? (We would also love any other stats that you have)
"By the end of 2015, we have seen 434 people rescued and grow to know freedom through our A21 homes and aftercare. Just last month, we had an incredible situation where we were able to assist another 77 refugees thanks to our hotline in Greece! We’ve also seen over 250,000 students globally, educated on the dangers of human trafficking. And around 350,000 women have been reached through Propel resources. But you can just never truly know the total number of the lives and hearts you’ve reached."
6. What are your goals for The A21 Campaign?
"We believe that together, we can end human trafficking. We believe that together with our strategic approach outlined on our website, we will break the chains of bondage all over the world, and see captives set free. So far we have a presence in 10 countries with 11 offices, and our solution is found in Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnership. We actively engage in preventing trafficking through education and awareness for the next generation, we rescue and protect victims through our restoration programs, we pursue justice by prosecuting traffickers and interrupting the cycle, and we partner with governments, NGOs, and incredible people just like you, to fight for freedom together!"
7. What projects are you currently focusing on?
"Most recently a big focus has been on the Refugee Crisis in Eastern Europe, where we are seeing hundreds of thousands of refugees at risk. Refugees are amongst the most vulnerable people in the world to human trafficking, and we’ve got an incredible team working around Greece (as well as Europe). We have been able to produce 15 “Freedom Containers” so far that have already provided over 1 million portions of water to the refugees, and over 145,000 people on the border have been reached about the dangers of trafficking, and there’s still so much more to do and to come! In addition to this, so far this year we’ve seen more rescues than ever before, and we are believing for even more people to find true freedom through our restoration programs. Another life-changing project we’re working on at the moment is opening a children’s home in Thailand. With the average age of a trafficked victim being 12 years old, we want to give hope, freedom and family to Thailand’s vulnerable children. With Propel, I am astounded at what’s happening through Propel Chapter and Groups everywhere, and I’m believing for more women to be empowered through Propel than ever before!"
8. How can the #estherbabe help?
"The whole heart of A21 is for the ONE. It’s for the ONE person we can set free. It’s for the ONE trafficker we can put behind bars. It’s for the ONE #estherbabe who is willing to stand up and say ‘you know what, I can do something’. We need you, because it’s courageous women like you who help make this work possible. Because we couldn’t do this without you. Because girls like Mary and Sonia, they need you too. Because beautiful #estherbabe, no matter what is in your hands, you have the power to change someone’s world. So jump onto A21.org, (maybe even sign up for the Walk For Freedom on October 15th!) and come alongside us as we fight against human trafficking - we’d love to hear from you!!"
For more information on the A21 campaign or to get involved, visit www.a21.org