On 14 and 15 October Not For Sale and 42 of Juniper Networks executives and top performing employees from Europe, Middle East and Africa held a joint event in Amsterdam, exploring how the partnership between the two organisations could best be used to fight human trafficking. It was an Autumnal rainy day when the team sat down in Oude Kerk, the oldest building in Amsterdam, to get to work. Located in the centre of the red light district, Oude Kerk is a church that serves mostly as a tourist destination and event hall, but was the perfect location for the group to think about how we could affect change right outside of the building walls.
On the first day President and Co-Founder, Dave Batstone and the Netherlands Director, Toos Heemskerk, shared the state of the union of human trafficking globally and locally. Kim Andreoli-Pasche, Juniper Networks, Inside Sales Senior Director, shared her story of how she was first connected to Toos and walked the group through the small steps that were taken over the course of several months that lead to a strong and trusting partnership. Without these business relationships, the scope of Not For Sale’s work is limited.
Later there was a lively Q&A session followed by a tour of the red light district. The impact was enormous. The Juniper team was immersed into learning about the issues and identifying what they could each bring to the solution. In that vein, the final portion of the event focused on small group sessions where each team identified what they could do today to help end human trafficking. Most ideas came from individual relationships; one group wanted to give holiday gifts that support Not For Sale, another group wanted to introduce all of their business relationships to the cause, and yet another wanted to explore more individual volunteer opportunities for staff.
With all of the energy in the room, and all of the potential impact being set in motion, the most powerful moment came at lunch on the final day. A few of the survivors who have been training in our kitchen were catering the event, and after serving lunch they wanted to say thank you to the Juniper team. Overcome with emotion, they asked Not For Sale Netherlands Coordinator Claire Buswell to speak on their behalf.
“It was a touching moment in the day for Juniper employees to come into contact with the survivors we are working with and see the tangible impact of two strong, skilled women; whom have escaped entrapment”