The Table: Our Welcoming, Strategic Approach to Fighting Human Trafficking

Posted by The Exodus Road Team on August 3, 2020

Through the years, we have learned that in fighting human trafficking, we are not alone.

 

And we are so encouraged.

 

We often meet others who are bringing freedom for children, women, and men living in modern slavery. Therefore, we are in a position to set a table, with survivors at the center, where anyone dedicated to this work can have a place. In fact, we are all made better by the diversity of those who work alongside us. Welcoming everyone into the cause for freedom is one of our foundational beliefs. 

 

For this reason, The Exodus Road is a nonreligious organization. It is not affiliated with any one religion, political stance, or social ideology. We welcome people of all faiths, beliefs, lifestyles, backgrounds, cultures and political parties to join our work.

 

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The history

Matt and Laura Parker were motivated by their personal faith journeys when they originally moved to Thailand to do Christian humanitarian work, running a home for impoverished young girls, empowering their education.

 

When they founded The Exodus Road in 2011, they opted to make the organization nonreligious after seeing firsthand the disunity caused by religious affiliations among nonprofits. In their experience, groups or individuals would sometimes refuse to collaborate because of these religious differences. This was especially the case when working with local government partners.

 

While they value the many organizations who are religiously affiliated, they felt like the most strategic pathway towards freedom for The Exodus Road's unique work with government partners, police, and locals was to remain nonreligious. 

 

They chose the name The Exodus Road from the Biblical Old Testament and the Jewish history of slavery and freedom. Matt and Laura wanted the organization to become a path out of slavery. While their personal faith is still their core motivation, they became intent on building a collaborative organization.

 

This foundational idea of religious diversity quickly enveloped all kinds of diversity, as they began to work intentionally across party, political, or ideological lines. They, and those who began to step in and build the organization with them, held to the same welcoming, inclusive ideals. 


[You can read more about their genesis story by visiting here. ]

 

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Our Staff and the people we serve 

At the Exodus Road, diversity is reflective of our staff and the people we serve. Our team around the world represents a variety of religions, beliefs, and cultures. They are brave men and women whom we are proud to support with employment. They include Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, atheists, LGBTQ, politically right and left, and more. More than two-thirds of our staff are foreign nationals. They also represent an array of economic backgrounds and social groups.

 

The community leaders, law enforcement officers, and survivors we serve also represent a variety of religious and cultural backgrounds. Our organization remains focused on strategically impacting freedom, and we offer that service to anyone who needs it regardless of race, religion, creed, lifestyle, or status.

 

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What this philosophy looks like practically 

Because our organization is not religiously or politically affiliated, we have experienced advantages (in formal and informal partnerships) working in certain countries where others have not. It has also made us exempt from some government restrictions in some countries. 

 

Our inclusive philosophy allows us to foster and empower many partners on the ground, especially in aftercare. For example, while some of our aftercare partners are religiously affiliated, others are not. This openness allows us to have a variety of partners and to ensure we are working with the strongest programs. 

 

Practically speaking, we also intentionally stay out of conversations, especially online, that would distract us from our mission. For this reason, you will not see us making strong public statements on some popular social issues. We speak on justice issues beyond human trafficking, but we don’t get involved in online debates about politics, religion or divisive topics. Again, we strive to keep our core focus -- the freedom of survivors -- at the center.

 

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Our Community of Supporters

We are grateful to our many partners and supporters in this fight against human trafficking. They are also a diverse group. Some are religious individuals and organizations and some are not. Our donors represent an array of beliefs and lifestyles, united around the idea that freedom is a right, and not a privilege for a selected few. We are so thankful for all of them and the generosity they bring to this table. 

 

The Exodus Road will continue to find and free human trafficking victims through the strategic action of ordinary people. This group of diverse people that are are a part of The Exodus Road community and mission creates a strong movement working for freedom. It's a mosaic of change in the world that we are so proud to be a part of. 

 

To learn more about our organization, take some time to visit our FAQ page below. 

 

Visit our FAQ Page