Freedom Challenge Africa

Freedom Challenge Africa

Passing The Baton

Passing the Baton

Precision is important when passing a baton during a relay race, as fumbling would cause a team to lose seconds in a race where every moment counts, while dropping a baton would result in disqualification. 

To maximize your chances of widening a lead between you and your competitors, it is essential that all members of a relay team are adept at the fundamentals of passing and receiving the baton. 

Nicolette Mok 

Ten Years With the Baton in My Hand

In October this year, I celebrated 10 years of being part of the Freedom Challenge ministry. We are an anti-human trafficking ministry, who raises awareness and funds to fight the injustices of human trafficking which is also known as Modern-Day Slavery. I used this as an opportunity to look back on the work of this ministry these past 10 years.  

My reference about trafficking and slavery was the exploitation that happens on cocoa farms and the adverse working conditions of workers on coffee plantations in Africa.  

In January 2012, I had the opportunity to join 47 other women on what was called the Freedom Climb, Kilimanjaro Challenge. The main goal of this challenge was to raise awareness about the reality of human trafficking and raise funds for projects around the world working against this. To be honest, when I began this journey, I didn’t even know that Modern Day Slavery and human trafficking were the same thing.

But, my limited knowledge did not stop me from researching and understanding more about this topic. To understand the root causes that are flaming this crime, I immersed myself in every research document I could find. I read many articles, testimonies, and blogs over the years. I also had the opportunity to hear first hand testimonies of women and men that had been trafficked. Today, 10 years later, I still don’t fully comprehend how one person can be so evil against another.  


However, we know that from the time sin entered the world people have exploited each other. We find records in history of people trying to dominate or exploit others for financial gain, power, or domination over an entire people group. Some may think that slavery was abolished with the transatlantic slave trade, but today we sit with the reality of more than 45 million slaves in the world. Every person is vulnerable to something. Whether that is a better life, education opportunities, a better work environment, a better future for their children, a dream holiday or even something as small as a cell phone. If we understand the vulnerability in our communities, there is hope that we might see a decrease in slavery in our lifetime!

The best definition that I can use to explain human  trafficking is that it is the exploitation of vulnerability.

Three Pillars in Keeping the Baton Moving

Freedom Challenge is built on three pillars: Prayer, Projects, and Partnerships. As I look back over the past 10 years, the question is, how do we continue to build this legacy that has been laid this past decade? These three pillars are an effective way that we can continue to address the realities of Modern-Day Slavery. 


Modern-day slavery is one of the biggest humanitarian challenges that we face in modern history. The United Nations, governments, NGOs, NPO’s and civil society are rallying around this challenge. Everyone is looking to find solutions to the problem and ways to address vulnerabilities that aid traffickers in exploitation.  

Our most significant weapon for this evil is prayer.

On top of Mt. Kilimanjaro we met a man without arms or legs! Such an inspiration!

However, we need to understand that at its foundation it is not a humanitarian crisis. It is first and foremost a spiritual crisis. Man in his core is evil and so are his desires. We, as sinful people, want to dominate other people. When we present these injustices to our Sovereign God, He has a way to do the supernatural.  The spiritual battle for the soul of every human being starts and ends in prayer. It is important, then, for us to understand the power of prayer as well. If we have faith that God uses the prayers of a righteous person, we will see a change in this reality in our lifetime! The scope of human trafficking involves not just the exploitation of women and girls, but boys and men as well.

A huge part of the trafficking industry is sexual exploitation, but it is not the only part. Included in this scope of human trafficking is forced labour, forced marriages, and organ harvesting, just to name a few! We need to saturate these areas in prayer, and present it to a loving God who can provide answers to the enormity of this problem. 

Motivation and Encouragement for Praying into this Issue as a Baton Holder

Here are a few crucial reasons and encouragements to pray about this issue:

We have invested much to various prayer resources to help people better understand these global injustices. This enables others to know how to effectively pray for these issues. I have witnessed testimonies of how prayer supernaturally intervened with the most broken, lost, and hurt souls. How people found their identity and renewed hope when someone came alongside and saturated them in prayer. God is able to do abundantly more than we could ever ask for. 

I encourage you to take advantage of a helpful prayer resource linked here. This will help you make prayer the first response when you are overwhelmed by the realities of human trafficking. Saturate these areas in prayer. Pray the promises of God, stand on God’s word and believe that He can change injustice. 

Projects Carrying the Baton

The next pillar in our endeavor are projects: prevention, development, rescue, and restoration projects. In Freedom Challenge Africa, we have 22 projects that we support through prayer, fundraising and training.  All these projects need churches, NGOs, NPOs, government departments, and specialists supporting them.

Rescue and Restoration

Victims of human trafficking need intentional, long-term, and expert support to be reintegrated into society. This requires various resources to support people who want to escape or have already been rescued. Victims of human trafficking experience complex trauma and it can be hard to find specialized support. Specialized care for victims of human trafficking can be a very exhausting. Therefore, support for the care givers is also a crucial part of the restoration process, so they too can avoid burnout.  

Prevention and Development

It is estimated that only 1% of trafficked victims are ever rescued and restored to society. It is also a fact that many who are saved return to their traffickers within a year. This sounds like a losing battle. But this should not stop us from putting in the work. Providing support and specialized care still proves to be the best way to reintegrate these victims of human trafficking back into society.

Most of the rescue victims return to the perpetrators within the first year. This might sound like a losing battle.

However, this is where our prevention and development projects play a crucial roll in the fight. To identify vulnerable groups in communities and address these vulnerabilities helps in preventing them from landing up in the hands of traffickers. That means we must equip people to understand all the different contributors to human trafficking.

Your financial contribution, specialized support and volunteer services can make a difference in these people’s lives.

There is opportunity for every person to be involved in supporting these projects through their unique gifting. But there must be a realistic expectation of what it takes to reintegrate a victim back into society. If we do, then the numbers are not so overwhelming. Then it is easy to celebrate for each individual freed from slavery!

Partners Carrying the Baton With Us

The complexities of human trafficking and Modern-Day Slavery is proving to be a bigger challenge than we care to admit. Every country in the world, the United Nations, every NGO, and civil society should be involved to find solutions to this crisis.  

However, there is not one NGO, government or even the United Nations that has the complete solution for this problem. That is why partnership is crucial. For partnerships to be effective, people need to know about them.

Everest Base Camp Challenge: 2013

In South Africa, we are a part of the National Freedom Network, which consists of many NGOs who are in the fight against human trafficking in various capacities. Having beneficial partnerships between NGOs, civil society and government is proving to be the most effective to fight this atrocity.  

Examples of Organizations Partnering in Beneficial Ways

The following are some ways partnership can aid in the fight:

  • Governments should make necessary laws to fight against this. They also must enforce these laws! While NGOs, NPOs and civil society need to know what their role is to identify and recognize the signs of human trafficking. 
  • Every country needs to have a national toll-free hotline. This free hotline provides a place where possible incidents can be reported and trusted authorities can investigate. This often leads to successful prosecution in court! Hotlines are also a place where information and expert advise can be provided to the community. 
  • Proper punishment of this criminal activity needs to happen as law enforcement and prosecution remains a vital part of fighting this reality.   
  • Specialized trauma informed counsellors, social workers, teachers, the medical professionals, and civil society are all needed to support victims of human trafficking. They are all necessary in helping victims reintegrate into society. Every teacher, pastor, social worker, and law enforcement official needs to understand what their role is to identify vulnerable communities and to support, help, and protect them against exploitation.  
  • Every anti-human trafficking ministry needs to understand that this is a complex and challenging situation. Organizations must seek to build trust with other organizations, so we can work together effectively in this fight. There must be support for one another in order to change the realities of human trafficking. 

Thank You!

In conclusion, Freedom Challenge Africa is thankful for the partnerships of trust and support we have built in the last 10 years. Every person that has taken up the challenge to raise funds and awareness. Every person who took up the commitment to pray for our projects, challenges, and training events. They have all made an impact in this journey. We value your support!

Partnership is a vital component to fight this reality.  None of this could be done without partnership.

Can We Pass The Baton to You?  

In October 2022, Freedom Challenge will journey back to the place where it all started, the roof of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. This ten-year celebration challenge will be a testimony of God’s goodness, provision, and wisdom for the ministry over the past ten years. It will also be an opportunity for new participants to take the baton and run with the challenge for the next season.  

This was my first challenge to Mt. Kilimanjaro. Can I pass the baton to you to carry next year to the 10 year anniversary challenge?

If you would like to register or learn more e-mail

If you want to become a partner with Freedom Challenge, please connect with us via Facebook or Instagram.   

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