An unlikely combination of supporters have stepped in to help tackle child kidnapping and slavery in some of our most beloved tourist destinations.
Derryn Hinch began his weekly column on Human Headline with “I HAVE JUST HAD one of the most disturbing coffee breaks of my life. And when you’ve been around as long as I have, and seen some of the suffering and the squalor, then that is saying something”.
It came after hearing statistics released by Glen Hulley, Project Karma on the number of sex offenders travelling to countries with loose rules and regulations on child sex slavery.
Like, did you know 25 men, who are all on the sex offenders register, go to Bali every week? And every year 300 go to the Philippines? That’s nearly one a day.
In spite of his busy schedule, Derryn took the time to read the shocking figures and ended his update with ‘that email and today’s catchup really got to me… despite just launching the #justiceparty I couldn’t refuse his request. As of today I am a proud and committed ambassador for Project Karma’.
So what does this have to do with the travel industry?
The first meeting with Darren was unsuccessful. As Project Karma had no funding at this stage, it looked like another cause looking for a leg up. But then Gate7 got on board and made a phenomenal $60,000 donation. When they re-approached Derryn he was interested, and granted 10 minutes for a coffee. Gate 7’s generosity got a celebrity on board.
As this article goes online, Glen is in the Philippines having survived a pretty harrowing trip off the edge of a typhoon.
But how did he get on a plane?
The travel industry once again came to his help. I sent a call out to a few travel industry friends last week asking if there was anyone who could help connect Glen with airlines as travel costs are one of the major expenses.
I received a phone call from Luke Vaughan, a Travel Manager, widely regarded as one of the best ‘flight booking technicians’ in Australia. Once he had clarified the need, he explained it’s pretty challenging to get the airlines on board but he would try his best.
Could he help?
Carissa Pritchard, PR manager for Project Karma summarised Luke’ s contribution with ‘I can’t thank Luke enough. Not only did he get us great deals on flights to the Philippines and put up with our constant changes, without him, Glen wouldn’t have been able to get on the plane.’
“At 7:20am he took Glen’s call and helped sort out an issue with the Airline – and didn’t even charge. A genuinely great guy.”
Will you assist Project Karma?
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