Carly
Vanderkarr

For a few months, we have been regularly receiving the online support of Suzy and Carly Vanderkarr, a mother-daughter duo from USA on our Facebook page. One morning, we woke up to the most beautiful message, where we discovered that 15-year-old abolitionist and artist Carly, who has been fighting slavery for many years with her family, had created the #missingirls stencil on the walls of a local skatepark near her house in California.

A week later, she had created and distributed information flyers on the project and issue of sex trafficking across the city, asking temples, churches, synagogues, businesses and homes to allow her own little MISSING crew to put up the stencils anywhere and everywhere they can. Their goal is 800 stencils across California alone, which is no easy feat.

When my Mom first showed it to me on Facebook, I was so excited about it. I said “I’m going to work for these people.” I just knew I had to be a part of it. Me and my family feel strongly about ending modern-day slavery and also love art. I did some research and then I made a stencil and spray-painted the MISSING silhouette on my skateboard. I keep on praying for the victims.
Ever since I was little, I’ve known and prayed for trafficked victims. It’s really horrible. About 6 months ago, one of my favorite music artist Dominic Balli came out with an album that was all about ending and bringing awareness to modern-day slavery. It really encouraged us and so we bought 16 CDs and have been giving them away to people. We also buy fairly traded chocolate, rice and coffee and encourage other people to do so too.

So many people are unaware of how much slavery is happening even in their own city. I think that making people aware of what’s happening will bring people to prayer and to action. Just being aware of it is not enough though. I think that when people are really aware of it, they will want to see it stopped.

Awareness is essential, because you can’t stop something you don’t know about. And I believe that if a lot of people are against it, our government leaders globally will have to take notice. Also, I hope that people will buy fairly traded coffee, soccer balls and chocolate and other fair trade items because that really makes a difference.

Honestly, I don’t know. And that scares me. The numbers are huge and I’m just one kid. But I can tell someone, and then they can tell someone else until the whole world knows and is fighting to stop it.

I also believe that you can fight with your money. A lot of chocolate, cotton, diamonds, coffee etc is harvested by slaves or people who are not paid or treated fairly. I don’t know exactly how to stop it. But I know how to make people aware of it.

We are so proud to have brave Carly as our MISSING International Brand Ambassador, as she holds her own ground to carry this beacon forward. Let there be light, and let people know about the heinous crime they are allowing in their own neighborhood. 

FYI

This is an open call to anybody who wishes to get involved and create the MISSING stencils on the walls of whichever part of the world you stay in. We have already started this art and awareness revolution in India, USA, and will soon make our way to Germany and Pakistan thanks to volunteers around the world! If you are an individual or organization that wants to collaborate with us, do write in to us at missingpublicartproject@gmail.com