I am a member of the International Association of the Red Cross, which was founded in 1883.
I have been involved in relief work since 1975 and have helped thousands of people in my country, and in the Caribbean, since 1976.
In 2007, I was the youngest member of our Executive Board and the first woman to hold that position.
In January, I received an award for being a leader in the fight against trafficking in women and girls.
The award was awarded to me by the Red Ribbon Campaign, a global campaign that helps survivors of trafficking and abuse find protection and recovery in a world where they face constant threats, stigma and discrimination.
My mission is to empower people to stand up and fight for their rights and rights of others, and to end the cycle of trafficking in sex, labor, forced labor and sex trafficking.
It has been a challenge, but my work is not just to give back, it has also been a personal and political journey, as I have seen firsthand how our system is broken.
My family was enslaved by my grandmother, who had a reputation for selling women into slavery.
She owned a slave-trading business called ‘The Blackbird’.
My grandmother had to take me and my sister to her house to sell her, as my mother was a slave too.
In her words, ‘I will take all of you into my home’.
I have been working to end slavery and slavery-related human trafficking since I was six years old, and it was a difficult journey.
I was one of the youngest children in my family.
I have since learned to read, write, drive, read and understand the language.
I had been taught in the family how to be obedient, respectful and helpful to the family.
However, in my younger years, my grandmother began teaching me to respect others and to abuse them, which became part of the family’s culture.
The family had a ‘business’ called The Blackbird, where they sold women into bondage.
The Blackbirds was an abusive and exploitative business, and was run by my grandfather.
One day, my grandfather decided to sell my mother and sisters into slavery, and he would make money by enslaving them to be his slaves.
The girls were sold at auctions, in the black market, for as little as $20.
They were used as sex slaves.
I am not exaggerating when I say that they were forced to work on a daily basis.
When my mother asked me to leave the family, she was taken to the Blackbird.
My father, my brother and I were also taken there, and I had to work there for seven years before my mother got freedom.
My mother’s family knew I was born a slave and they made me sign papers which made me a slave.
I didn’t want to sign these papers, so I went to my grandmother and told her I was a girl, and she gave me the papers to prove that.
When my father came home from work one day, he found me and was shocked to find out that my mother had escaped and was running the Blackbirds.
He immediately contacted the police and rescued her.
She was taken back to the plantation where she worked, where she was sold for slavery.
After my mother escaped from the plantation, my family was ordered to pay her a visit, so she could tell me how she escaped.
I remember the look on her face as she saw me.
During my mother’s time in the BlackBird, she did not know how to read or write, and when she was told that I was in the same family, her eyes lit up.
This experience was a turning point for me, as it taught me that I had the ability to make a difference.
It was an important lesson in my life.
Over time, my mother became more and more dependent on me and used me as a tool in her business.
Throughout my childhood, I learned to fight, to be brave and to say no.
I learned that there was no right way to live, no wrong way to act.
I realised that if I was willing to be strong, then I could change the world.
Since then, I have worked hard and continued to be active in my community, to change the attitudes and beliefs of others.
My job is to educate the young women, and also to empower them.
For example, in 2015, I organised an International Association for the Red Cloud, a grassroots movement to fight human trafficking, human trafficking by other forms of exploitation, forced labour, sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.
Last year, I travelled to Africa to meet with local leaders to educate them about trafficking and the need for change.
While I have travelled across the world to deliver the message that the fight for freedom is possible,