TCU students are bringing human trafficking awareness back to Fort Worth after their summer study abroad experience in India.
The group of students is forming a team to participate in the Cowtown Marathon to raise awareness for trafficking and fundraise for The Net and Traffic911.
The Net and Traffic911 are both non-governmental organizations in Fort Worth that combat human trafficking. The Net has multiple programs to serve the community, but its “Purchased” program focuses on victims of sexual exploitation.
The students were able to visit two non-governmental organizations that focused on anti-child labor and anti-sex trafficking during their time in Delhi, India.
Senior Maddie Bailey found her inspiration to create the “Outrun Trafficking” team from her time spent with victims who were forced into prostitution and boys who were rescued from forced labor in factories.
“I enjoy running, and my mom runs a lot,” Bailey said. “So I wondered, ‘why don’t we do this fundraiser to make this experience a hard thing to do, since these women’s entire lives are difficult?’”
Junior Madelyn Carter said she has no desire to run a half or full marathon, but if it brings awareness to the issue, she can’t say no.
Participants have the option to run the 5k, half or full marathon.
Bailey said if they could make this experience even remotely difficult for the people who participate in the fundraising by running the Cowtown, it might help get the message across.
Carter said it’s about more than just participation from friends and family.
“It’s cool to see the TCU and Fort Worth community coming together for a higher purpose,” Carter said.
The team has been holding meetings to give potential participants more information and to help them sign up.
“The mission of the marathon is not just to raise money but to spread awareness about human trafficking and the human exploitation crises happening in the world,” Bailey said.
The link to join the Outrun Trafficking team is on their Facebook page. The Cowtown Marathon is Feb. 28, 2016.