What’s the #1 way kids are recruited into trafficking?

Q: What’s the #1 way
kids are recruited into trafficking?
A: By other kids

–Florida Department of Juvenile Justice

October 11, 2015

And guess where that recruitment takes place? In our high schools and middle schools. Kids who are already being trafficked lure other kids into this horror.

Please note this happens in all states, not just Florida.  And in all socio-economic groups, not just poor areas.

If human traffickers are already in our schools, shouldn’t we be, too? Yet getting anti-trafficking teaching into our schools is not an easy task. But thankfully Born2Fly has some allies who are helping push this through.

Think globally…act locally

Recently Kim Grabert, who is the anti-trafficking director for Florida’s Department of Children and Families (at right in group photo below), asked me to speak to the Florida Statewide Human Trafficking Council’s services and resources committee

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi created the Council to fight trafficking in Florida. Among other tasks, the services and resources committee is working to — yes! — put anti-trafficking teaching in schools.

The committee consists of high-level government officials including chair Mike Carroll, secretary of Florida’s Department of Children and Families (DCF):

With Mike Carroll, secretary of

Florida’s Department of Children and Families

The committee wanted to learn how to teach trafficking prevention to very young children. “Prevention will save a whole lifetime of pain later on,” said Secretary Carroll.

Ahhh, exactly what Born2Fly specializes in! I told them that (in the words of Kim Grabert), “Teaching trafficking prevention does not have to be scary.”

I shared 11 do’s and don’ts for teaching trafficking prevention to young children:

1.  Do make it age-appropriate.
2.  Don’t make it “scary” for kids.
3.  Don’t make it “scary” for parents.
4.  Don’t make it “scary” for teachers.
5.  Don’t have to mention trafficking or sex.
6.  Do make it story-based.
7.  Do teach universal truths.
8.  Do make it flexible and customizable.
9.  Do be cross-cultural.
10.Do focus on the positive.

11.Do make it fun!

Naturally Born2Fly’s curriculum for young children meets all these needs 🙂 .

Is the time right?

B2F also has an ally in Florida’s Department of Education. Michelle Gaines, DOE’s health education coordinator, has promoted B2F’s curriculum for 3 years. She told me that our earlier efforts to get B2F into schools were probably premature as most people didn’t believe there was child trafficking in their backyard. There’s much more awareness now, so Michelle feels the time is right for renewed efforts.

Michelle Gaines, health education

coordinator, Florida Department of Education

Meanwhile Michelle’s department has instituted other creative programs including teaching trafficking awareness to all Florida school bus drivers — called “Driving Out Trafficking.”

I also met with Bethany Gilot, who lived in northern India and worked with trafficked children from Nepal. Today Bethany is anti-human trafficking director of Florida’s Department of Juvenile Justice.

With Bethany Gilot, anti-human trafficking
director of Florida’s Department of
Juvenile Justice
Martin Stubblefield (2nd from left in group photo above), who is assistant secretary of Florida’s

Department of Health, told me a moving story about how his 13-year-old daughter heard about children trafficked from Nepal to Greece — and raised $100 to help them. Five years later she got a follow-up letter from an organization in Greece saying her $100 had grown, and they had recently completed a safehouse for rescued children. Talk about making a difference!

Teaching Born2Fly in South Africa

Finally I received great encouragement at the meeting from one of the other presenters. Natasha Nascimento (below right) told the committee that Born2Fly is successfully taught to very at-risk young children in South Africa, where she is from. Natasha now lives in Tampa, Florida, where she has taught Born2Fly at Redefining Refuge, the safehouse she founded for teens rescued from trafficking. I loved hearing that!
With safehouse directors Laura Hamilton of
Bridging Freedom in Tampa and

Natasha Nascimento of Redefining Refuge in Tampa

I left the meeting encouraged by all the creative ways that today’s abolitionists are fighting human trafficking. Watch this space on the continuing efforts to get Born2Fly into public schools in the US.

Together we really are reaching kids before the traffickers do.

Diana Scimone

The Born2Fly Project to stop child trafficking

PS: Please read Born2Fly’s statement on the Planned Parenthood videos here.

PPS: To support to our work, just click on the red “donate now” button below.

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Born to Fly International, Inc., works to stop child trafficking by reaching kids before the traffickers do–with free anti-trafficking curriculum downloadable at www.born2fly.org. B2F is a 501c3 non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible.

Born to Fly International, Inc.
PO Box 952949 | Lake Mary FL 32795-2949 | USA

info@born2fly.org | www.born2fly.org

Jolie speaks out about Nigerian girls kidnap

e52b3ab96b625637a9c2a61b5bd60b33b186dffaLondon (AFP) – US actress Angelina Jolie, who will co-chair a summit in June aimed at ending sexual violence in war zones, on Thursday blamed a “culture of impunity” for the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria.

Speaking at the London premiere of her new movie “Maleficant”, Jolie said that June’s conference, to be co-chaired by British Foreign Secretary William Hague, will try to “create a sense of irreversible movement towards ending the use of rape and sexual violence in conflict.” Continue reading



 Modern Slavery, a Global Crisis occurring in your Community

What comes to your mind when you think of prostitution, strip clubs or pornography? Is the image that forms that of a young adult woman who willingly enters that lifestyle for money? Shockingly research shows that globally the average age a girl enters prostitution is 11 years old (and only 12-14 in the U.S.) Some are forced into the global sex industry at ages as young as 4-5? I do not believe it is reasonable to assume that children at this age willingly choose this lifestyle without being manipulated or forced in some way. In any culture would it be every little girls dream to someday grow up and give herself sexually to 20-30 men she doesn’t know every night? Continue reading

Happy Valentine’s Day! B2F luvs U!

 Happy Valentine’s Day!  B2F luvs U!

Next month marks our 11th anniversary as a non-profit working to help children — so thank you for sticking with us for more than­ a decade. We love our supporters!

Here are 14 updates you’ll love: 

1. In Nepal, the teens and young women we helped train last fall are holding more workshops than ever all over the country using the B2F curriculum to reach kids before the traffickers do.

2. The newest translation of our curriculum is Indonesian.

3. Our new anti-trafficking radio scripts based on the B2F storyline are nearly complete.

4. We’re preparing for the first program to air in Hindi throughout India. 

5. In Brazil, we’re launching an anti-trafficking outreach  in anticipation of this summer’s World Cup — including a Portuguese translation of our curriculums.

6. We’re creating a trafficking mobilization curriculum for after-school clubs in high schools based on my new book, Audacious.  

7. Nearly 400 organizations in 65 countries have registered to download B2F.  

8. The newest country? Peru

 9. I’m now co-chair of the education subcommittee of the Greater Orlando Human Trafficking Task Force.

10. I’m working with anti-trafficking youth task force of the Faith Alliance in Orlando.

11. B2F participated in the 6th annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day in Orlando. Nearly 3,000 people attended.

12. Last week I spoke at a school for special-needs kids to tell their moms how to keep their children safe from trafficking…

13…and to daughters of 911 call center operators.

14. We also have a big announcement coming up…watch this space!

Give some Valentine’s love 

On this special day set aside for love, we have a special link in case you’d like to love on Born2Fly!

Give $14 on the 14th  to help stop child trafficking  Just click here 

Your donations help fund the entire B2F program all around the world.Most of the organizations that teach B2F could never afford to pay for it — so we give away all our materials without charge. Our wonderful donors (that would be you) keep it all going.

You can click here to make a $14 Valentine’s Day donation by credit card, or you can mail a check to the address below.

Your partnership with Born2Fly keeps kids safe from traffickers all over the world. Thanks to you, we really are reaching kids before the traffickers do.


Diana Scimone, President The Born2Fly Project to stop child trafficking 

PS: Born2Fly is a 501c3 non-profit organization and your donations are tax deductible. Give $14 on the 14th — just click here.



Against Our Will: Poetry From Survivors of Human Trafficking

By Alicia Keys

As an artist, I know that in times of despair, self-expression can be one of the only outlets that makes life feel better. And that’s exactly what these courageous young women — each of whom are sex trafficking survivors from Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) — did with their thought-provoking poetry.

I was awestruck by the words of these strong and beautiful young women who shed light on the issue of human trafficking, despite the dark depths of suffering they’ve experienced by being forced to sell their bodies. These young women rise above to evoke compassion, hope and inspiration. The sad truth is, while what they’ve experienced is so humanly unimaginable to many of us, they are speaking to a very real problem in our country right now. Modern-day slavery is real. Whether it’s sex trafficking or labor trafficking, in which people are being made to work brutally long hours with no pay, it’s happening right in our backyards and it’s heartbreaking. In the past two years, incidences of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states. Continue reading