Operation Hope, Sulphur teen takes on human trafficking

Operation Hope, Sulphur teen takes on human trafficking
Published: Sep. 7, 2013 at 10:23 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 12, 2014 at 8:19 PM CDT
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SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - Operation Hope is a local foundation geared to raising awareness about human trafficking. An ambitious goal for anyone, but this organizer is a teen.

Bryttani MacNamara, Operation Hope's founder, said, "We actually have 27 million people enslaved around the world today and there are 200,000 in the U.S. alone."

Armed with knowledge and a handful of flyers, 14-year-old Bryttani MacNamara got to work Saturday morning, trying to raise awareness on human trafficking.

"Last year, I was researching social studies fair projects and I came across statistics about human trafficking and the one that really hit close to home was that girls my age were being sold to sex slavery on a daily basis," explained Bryttani.

And that's when Bryttani founded Operation Hope. Members of the group range from ages 9 to 18.

The group is visiting local bus stops, hotels and truck stops because according to the research Bryttani's done, they're the most frequent locations victims pass through.

"We're gonna hang up posters with the national hotline so that if anyone sees it and they are a victim, they can call the hotline and be rescued. Or if someone sees it, and they think they know a victim, they can call the hotline and it could save people's lives," said Bryttani.

And her ambition is rubbing off on others.

"I'm involved because I think human trafficking is a huge problem but it's a huge solvable problem. And I'm excited for this event and for today because I'm seeing all these young kids get involved, and that inspires me to do more," said Rusty Havens.

Although Operation Hope is a local organization, Bryttani said they also raise funds for other groups working towards the same goal, "On April 13, 2013 we had a walk at Sulphur High School, and we raised $500 to send to the indent movement which is an organization that is a coalition of seven other coalitions that work on other aspects of fighting human trafficking."

Overall, Bryttani hopes people are receptive.

For more information on Operation Hope or to volunteer, you can visit their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/#!/Operation.Hope.LA?fref=ts

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