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Summit takes aim at human trafficking

POSTED: August 6, 2018 8:21 a.m.
Mark Lastinger/staff/

Cingo general manager Philip Hall explains his reasoning for funding Saturday's anti-human trafficking summit and luncheon at New Ebenezer Retreat Center. Cingo donated $1,000.

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RINCON — Darius Scott's words about human trafficking are being punctuated by action.

The former South Effingham High School student hosted BeFree Effingham, an anti-human trafficking summit, at New Ebenezer Retreat Center on Saturday. The program, put together by Scott and his mother, Sonja, was designed for a youthful audience.

About 20 participants were treated to songs, artwork and lunch while learning ways to combat human trafficking.

"When we developed this curriculum, we decided that we would incorporate art as well as music, as well as having experts in the field — and we do," Mrs. Scott said. "We have the best of the best here talking to you today because, honestly, we think that more youth need to know about human trafficking. They need to be really be engaged and not let it be something for another country to deal with or someone else to deal with.

"We feel like these seminars need to be duplicated throughout Georgia — really, throughout the nation."

After winning several area speaking contests with human trafficking as his topic, Darius Scott decided to do something about the growing global scourge.

Initially, he was content to recite the alarming statistics he gleaned from research. Slowly, the gravity of the situation enveloped him and he opted to become a force against human trafficking.

Victims of human trafficking, which come in all ages, are subjected to force , fraud or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. The psychological effects of the crime include helplessness, shame, shock, depression, denial, disbelief, disorientation and anxiety.

To help combat the problem, Scott has distributed bracelets stamped with anti-human trafficking messages and help-line information.

BeFree Effingham was his first anti-human trafficking summit. It was sponsored by Cingo, a Georgia and South Carolina pest control company that donated $1,000.

Cingo general manager Philip Hall explained the reasoning for his support for Scott's effort.

He said, "We wanted to do something local and, when we found Darius, we thought, 'Wow. What a perfect fit' — that we could support this effort and get the word out locally about this tragic situation that is going on all around the word."

See the Aug. 8 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.


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