Volunteer Spotlight: Megan Phair
Volunteer Spotlight: Megan Phair from STOP THE TRAFFIK Antrim
Name: Megan Phair
STOP THE TRAFFIK Group: Antrim
Tell us a little bit about yourself (school, college, work, hobbies and interests)?
I am a piano and singing teacher who also works in Monsoon Accessorize part time. I am a qualified youth worker and get to use my degree in lots of ways in the No More Traffik community. I love music especially Beyoncé. I am an avid believer that a good 30 second dance party heals everything so if you have me on social media I will either be talking about dance parties or have a video of me dancing- it’s good for the soul. I love writing songs about faith, love, experiences, hope, heartbreak and freedom. I also do a bit of spoken word poetry generally around the same themes. I write a little blog which I think about 3 people read but it’s more for me anyway. I am passionate about helping people achieve freedom and explaining to people what freedom is and how others don’t have it.
How did you first hear about human trafficking?
It’s hard for me to pin point a specific time that I heard about human trafficking; I remember someone in my church had a canvas STOP THE TRAFFIK bag with the logo of a hand with a key that prompted her to explain it to me when I was younger. However it didn’t really grab hold of me until I was in upper 6th in school I think. I do remember in my first year of university in a social policy class talking about slavery and about my friends Ben and Nicole who had just set up STOP THE TRAFFIK Antrim (formerly known as Antrim Act). Ben was informing me on human trafficking and telling me it happened in Antrim and I just couldn’t forget about it.
Why is human trafficking something you are passionate about stopping?
It is a human nature issue. Broken down it is people being treated as commodities and moved about like they have no value or worth. I just think “wow, if this was one of my family members or even someone who lived on my street how far would I go to make a loud noise to help rescue them.” When I talk to people I say that this could be about your family- Mum, dad, sister, brother, daughter, son, what if it was them? What would you do? It is not OK that people are treated in this way. People can get tired of me going on about it, but I will not shut up until the number of slaves in the world is 0. I used to say I am only one person what can I do, but everyone can do something. The quote by William Wilberforce has a big impact on me: “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” I couldn’t look the other way.
What made you want to get involved with your STOP THE TRAFFIK group/No More Traffik?
I knew that No More Traffik and the STOP THE TRAFFIK Antrim group were raising awareness of this issue and I wanted to be a part of that. People are living, working, walking where trafficking is happening, where injustice is screaming all over the place and I wanted to rage against this horrific injustice called Human Trafficking. I now run the Stop The Traffik Antrim group which is so exciting and makes me really glad when one more person is made aware of Human trafficking.
What kinds of things have you been involved in with your STOP THE TRAFFIK group/No More Traffik?
At the beginning I was mainly a social media sharer- like this post or share that, buying fair trade bananas, coffee, sugar and chocolate as well as going to some of the STOP THE TRAFFIK Antrim events. In August/September time 2014 I took over the co-ordinating of our group. My role is now to inspire others to join, meet with our councils PCSP vulnerable persons working group, build relationships with different political party members, build networks with other charities such as amnesty international and participate in different awareness raising meetings in church groups, community groups and the like. Most recently our group has produced a billboard in Antrim which was designed by Ben. We always love new people to add to our group so if you are about Antrim and think what can I do? You can join and do something. Even the smallest acts make a mighty difference!