Have you seen the documentary, ‘The Real Mo Farah’? I watched it a couple of nights after it was first aired in July. Part of me found it tough to watch and I was left with so many unanswered questions about the circumstances that led to Sir Mo being trafficked to the UK as a child. And yet, on the other hand, it’s a story of strength, of survival and of great victories against adversity. It’s a painstaking search for identity. ‘Who am I? To whom do I belong? Who am I called to love?’ I recommend that you watch it and see the twists and turns in Sir Mo’s journey of discovery for yourself.

Slavery Has Not Ended

It’s hard to believe that slavery exists in our modern world and yet it’s so important for us to recognise that slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century. Certain evil acts of coercion, abuse and slavery did change, but even today they continue to harm people in every country in the world. The phrase ‘the world’ can enable us to wrongly presume that modern forms of slavery aren’t a problem here on our doorstep. Yet, City Hearts, an organisation that exists ‘…to relentlessly pursue the freedom and restoration of lives torn apart by modern slavery, crime and violence, creating projects that break the cycle of vulnerability by supporting people on their journey towards recovery and independence’ tells us that around ‘40.3 million people around the world are being forced into modern slavery, with an estimated 136,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK alone.’ That is a shocking statistic.

Raising Awareness of Modern Slavery

Charities Like City Hearts and Stop the Traffik have been campaigning for years to increase social consciousness about forms of modern slavery. Some of you may also have seen the harrowing BBC documentary, Sold: Sex Slaves Next Door. So as Christians, and educators, what should our response be?

Bakhita’s Prayer – A Resource for Sixth Formers

Here at Ten Ten, we have created a Cinema-in-Education resource to be shared with Year 12 or Year 13 students to raise awareness about the horrors of modern slavery through the tragic and remarkable life of St Josephine Bakhita.

The resource is a documentary film about modern slavery and human trafficking. It is inspired by the story of St Josephine Bakhita who was taken from her home in Sudan at the age of 9 to be used brutally as a slave in the USA. After years of abuse, she was freed and forgave those who had treated her so badly. Although slavery has been criminalised in the UK since 1833, this film shows how the trade continues in modern forms. It offers practical ways in which this vile injustice can be tackled, and shows Sixth Form students from a school in West London doing just that.

The film gives pupils information about the hidden world of human trafficking and offers a realistic look at the unfortunate realities that lead to the continuance of slavery today. ‘Bakhita’s Prayer’ (available to secondary schools with Life to the Full subscriptions) asserts human equality and dignity, and as such it’s an inspiring portrayal of a life lived with hope and thanksgiving.

Why not make time to watch this film with your Sixth Form pupils in time for Anti-Slavery Day on 18th October – and prepare for them to be inspired to take action? Or you could use the resource to commemorate the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery (2nd December) or St Bakhita’s Feast Day (8th February).

St Bakhita, pray for all those caught in the traps of modern day slavery. Amen.