Wednesday, May 23, 2007

On Ripples of Hope

Ripples of Hope is the latest stateside organization trying to help the victims of human trafficking in the CNMI. They contacted me several months ago and I made a few suggestions to them.

Even though they are dealing with a very controversial topic, for to help victims of human trafficking in the CNMI, one has to admit that human trafficking occurs, I suggested that they try to stay as non-political as possible. If they want to help, then help. Figure out what it is that a stateside organization can do to help the people here and then do it. I suggested that they hook up with a local organization in the CNMI and help provide them with funding.

I believe that is one of the things they plan on doing.

They are promoting themselves on DailyKos and Blogger. I recommend checking them out and educating yourselves on what statesiders think of the CNMI.


Melissa said...

Angelo, please feel free to pass along my email to them... I'd love to speak with them in an official capacity, and let them know what the CNMI is already doing to try and combat this problem, and see what sort of services they can offer in helping further.

fnpople said...

Thanks for mentioning us. We have definitely taken your advice to heart: we are NOT doing this because of political views. Actually, my business partner in this venture, Nick, is the "ying" to my "yang." I typically take a more libertarian/conservative role wile Nick has a progressive/Socialist streak to him. We balance each other out as friends and co-workers, and since we have different views on how to approach helping human trafficking victims, we have decided on a more balanced approach. We are hoping to find Republicans and Democrats, progressives and conservatives to help out. In actuality, what we are doing is exactly what should appeal to conservatives: we're keeping government out of our efforts and taking the blessings we have to help those who need it.

Anonymous said...

Its comforting to know that the mainland has its human trafficking problems solved so that people without political agendas can now focus on the CNMI. I guess these people have visited the CNMI and seen workers crawling over each other at the airport to escape the horrors of the CNMI?

fnpople said...

Haha! That's great. No, we don't have things fixed here on the mainland. But our hearts are in the right place and politics have been pushed aside. Besides talking to famous Democratic politicians, Ripples has been exchanging conversations with former US Senators Bob Dole and John Danforth-- both Republicans. We aren't setting an agenda. If we were, we'd be getting funding already and we'd be running hit pieces every day. We're just two college-aged guys who want to help.

I don't need to go to the Marianas to know there's a problem. Plenty of people who have been fortunate enough to go there have told me all I need to know about the situation. And the problem is, the workers don't want to leave the Marianas. They want to stay and are willing to sacrifice a lot to get to be in America. We just need to make sure those that are being abused get protection from the criminal recruiters who brought them here under false pretenses.

And my question for you, "anonymous," is why SHOULDN'T we be willing to help out? If I knew there was a problem right here in Sacramento, CA, and Ecuador had the ability to fix the problem or at least try to solve the problem, I'd welcome the assistance. I honestly don't understand how that could be a bad thing.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

It is best not to answer anonymous comments. It is difficult to have a conversation when you don't know with whom you are talking.

Saipan Writer said...

For fnpople, I'd say contact Karidat's Lauri Ogumoro. She's got the grant money, the training and the contacts. She's got the first hand experience of helping victims of trafficking. And she's willing to share. (I learned a lot from the people she brought here to give training on the trafficking-related laws.)

And after that, you can contact MLSC (and yes, that includes me). We're doing the lawyering for Karidat's trafficking victims, except for the criminal prosecutions, of course, which are handled by the AG's office.

I'm know Melissa sees the problem, too. I'm glad to hear about her faith in the CNMI's current efforts. Guess I've been here too long to share that confidence.

Angelo, your take on anonymous comments is interesting. I get anonymous comments, and a few were quite hostile-sounding, but then I ran into the person who wrote them. It put things in perspective.

I know he wrote them because he told me so. Not all anon commenters are snipers, hiding. Some just don't have blogs, even though they have opinions.