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Saturday Workshops

Modern Day Slavery

Blog by Sandra Dieffenthaller, SI San Fernando

We all think we are aware of issues surrounding Modern Day Slavery but Annette Maud’s workshop on this issue provided a wealth of information that must have been an eye opener for all attendees.

How many of us realized that there are victims of trafficking who do not want to be rescued? Or that not all victims know that they are victims? What has been the effect of Covid 19 on trafficking and traffickers? Have you implemented Codewords so that a loved-one can safely indicate to you that they need help?

Annette brought home clearly to us that while we focus on the traffickers as the bad guys, we need to focus on the persons whose needs are being filled through trafficking. Whether it is sex, drugs, domestic servitude, forced marriage, labour exploitation, forced robberies, or organ harvesting, without a demand for these, the traffickers would have no market for their ‘goods’. And imagine having a commodity that can be sold over and over and over! This had not occurred to me before.

I was particularly moved when Annette mentioned a couple that sold their two kids for US$20 to raise money to support their alcohol addiction…..and never actually received  For the majority of us, keeping our child safe in the virtual world is of utmost importance and we can start by building a relationship of trust with our child that allows you to ask for example…are any of your friends asking you to keep a secret? Are you being threatened? Are they threatening you or your friends or family? Are they promising you things? Are they telling you what YOU want to hear? I imagine that a discussion with your child on these warning signs, as early as possible, is imperative.

We may have thought that the Covid 19 pandemic dampened the activities of traffickers but on the contrary as Annette described “The demand used technology to request and fund traffickers, traffickers used improved technology and victims continued to be trafficked. The pandemic enabled traffickers to become more hidden whilst drastically increasing the exposure of their victims online due to increased hidden demand as people were stuck at home which created more convenience and less risk to the demand”.

The takeaway for me from Annette’s presentation is the importance of educating ourselves, raising awareness, being vigilant to trafficking in all its forms and taking action where we can. It was well worth waking up a little earlier on this side of the pond to attend this highly informative and thought-provoking workshop.

Grow your Membership with Social Media

Blog by Shukla Chattopadhyay, SI South Kolkata

I looked forward to this workshop; I was keen to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Rachel, in her racy, spontaneous and inimitable style, asked all viewers why we wish to do social media at all. Her slide showed an array of social media icons but she would be dwelling on five of them, she informed us: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.

Social media is one of the tools in our arsenal to attract new viewers, customers and, in the case of Soroptimist, new members, especially younger ones. It is the most cost effective, instant tool to expand our reach and increase the impact of our Programme Action. Even Fundraising can be done through social media which is approachable by everyone. People generally take to social media as a leisure activity, when they are totally relaxed. Social media helps to improve relationship with partner agencies and generates engaged traffic and enquiries from the public. It is important to understand the algorithms of different social media platforms.

  1. Facebook is the original social media platform with 1 billion users, being used for the last 14 years. It is one of the best platforms for Soroptimists since younger people are active on Facebook and Soroptimists want to engage and induct younger women into their fold. Rachel enlightened us that Facebook is all about communities. Sometime back there had been a lot of flak regarding Facebook business posts. However, 18 months ago, FB took a conscious decision to prioritise people over business. The more communities you create, the more FB will reward you, meaning they will throw up your posts more often for people to read.
  • Write on FB/ Create native content
  • Write about what you are reading, or doing
  • Write about your Programme Action
  • Add photos, video
  • Go live

Rachel gave a personal example to show what has greater reach on FB. Once she had linked a podcast on FB. It had got only 3 likes. Later she wrote on FB about the podcast, how good the research was with a lot of details. That post got many likes.

However, we must not break the rules. FB is strict as they get all the flak for abuse and misuse of social media.

  • Be conscious that you’re on a Public Platform which has been given to you on a platter, free of charge.
  • Be respectful, be inclusive, be tolerant and non-judgmental.
  • Keep the tone friendly
  • Remember conversations/ comments are preferred over likes; Like and Comment. Encourage comments by asking questions.

Example: If you want to post something about Climate Change: Write—We are planting trees. What are you doing to mitigate climate change?

  • Use bright, attractive photos
  • Use human faces, preferably smiling with the product you wish to highlight
  • Give links
  • Give multiple hashtags#
  • Put a link in the Comments box

This was a huge learning session—had never thought about FB in this analytical manner.

  1. The next platform that Rachel took up was Twitter.

Twitter is a broadcasting platform, public in nature. Anyone can see a Twitter post.

  • Trending on Twitter
  • Good for lobbying the government
  • Good for petitions
  • Twitter is instant
  • Retweet is the best
  • Varied hashtags#
  • Tagged people
  1. LinkedIn has about 740 million users worldwide but is mainly a Business-to-Business platform. Used by professionals, it is known for showing knowledge and credibility. It is useful if one needs to join groups, especially government groups. In that case, content would need to be tailored to focus on causes and programme action. Longer content form works best.
  2. Instagram has 1.5 billion users, 65% of whom are women. Being a highly image conscious platform, it is very appealing to young girls and women. Using Instagram portrays your club as modern, something the youth would like to engage with.

 Young girls working with a local charity created some simple graphics and posted on Instagram to help increase reach.

Points to Remember: 

  • Use multimedia
  • Vary images
  • Photos of happy, smiling people
  • Explain what they are doing
  • Graphics
  • Play around with filters
  • Use hashtags #
  • Ask Questions
  • Encourage Conversations

 5. TikTok, a great favourite with really young children, teenagers and young adults is what we need if we want to catch them young, instilling in them the vision and ethos of Soroptimist.

TikTok uses short 30 seconds to 1 minute video clips, engaging about 1 billion users globally, 59% of whom are female while 53% are under 35. It grew by 49% in 2019.

Short graphics created with free Infographic tools like Canva or Easel could be posted and kept for a day, to be repeated again after a few days.

I was quite thrilled to learn so much about social media algorithms, something I had never thought about so seriously. Thanks to Rachel for this interesting session. I know where to look if I have a query later on.

Annette Maudsley has worked in Safeguarding for over 20 years. She has worked with women in Taiwan who were being trafficked for sexual exploitation, male and female survivors of trafficking in the UK, and hosting winter night shelters for homeless men.  From there, she became a Border Force Immigration and Customs officer and also took the role of a Safeguarding Officer at ports and airports around the UK.  Currently working as a civil servant specialising in Safeguarding people against suicide, self-harm, trafficking, abuse and domestic violence.  In addition she lead the Liverpool Stop the Traffik group, raising awareness about Human Trafficking and Grooming.

Rachel Weinhold is the Managing Director of an award winning Digital Marketing Agency based in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Social media is one of the key tools they use on a daily basis, not only to grow their own business, but also to help grow the online profiles of their clients. Their social media marketing campaigns have won several industry awards for their innovation and success.