It looks appealing from the outside…

This summer, in the midst of the excitement of hosting the Olympic Games in London, it is good to be aware that there is a darker side to the colourful celebrations. As with any big international event, crime levels are likely to rise and in particular, there will be an increase in people trafficking.

According to the charity Stop the Traffik, at least one person is trafficked across borders every minute, which is equivalent to ten jumbo jets every day. This criminal trade earns twice as much worldwide revenue as Coca Cola.

The GIFT box is a project created by Stop the Traffik and the United Nations to raise awareness during the Olympics. The GIFT boxes are large public art installations designed in the shape of a giant gift, which will be placed in key locations around London. The outside of the box will entice visitors in (echoing how victims of trafficking are enticed), but the inside will reveal something of the reality of trafficking.

St Mary’s will host a GIFT box on the forecourt (from 26 July-12 August & 29 August-9 September). Staff and volunteers will be provided by the project to share information with passers-by, but extra volunteers from St Mary’s would be extremely welcome.

To find out more, or sign up as volunteer, please attend the information evening on Wednesday 25 April, 6.30-8pm in the Oasis Hub coffee house, Kennington Road, SE1 7QP - opposite Lambeth North tube station - or contact Jantine Werdmuller (020 7921 4258).