Every summer we host a Dairyland family event: the highly anticipated picnic. Our team, their families, and many of our local vendors gather for good food and even better company.

Dairyland Picnic Photo
Dairyland’s 2018 Company Picnic

This year was no exception but differed dramatically from the rest. We decided to start something new in keeping with our recently-released mission and vision. For the first time ever, we kicked off the party by inviting one of our partners, International Justice Mission (IJM), to share about their work and how Dairyland employees make it possible.

We learned through the true story of a young boy. Foli was born in Ghana, several hours from Lake Volta – one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. He lived with his grandparents who loved him dearly but were unable to provide for his education. When an uncle, who lived near the lake, offered to secure schooling, all agreed it was a good idea. Little did they know that Foli had just become a slave. Forced to work on a fishing boat as many as 18 hours a day, young Foli quickly learned that his new life would be marked by fear, danger, abuse, hunger, and illness. After 2 years he was rescued by International Justice Mission. Today he – along with many others – is safe and healing, receiving an education, is restored to his family, and is able to dream about the future.

Boys playing soccer in village

IJM is the largest international anti-trafficking organization dedicated to enacting justice, ending modern-day slavery and liberating those enslaved in it. They investigate and convict criminals, while rescuing and restoring victims and repairing justice systems. Today over 40 million people are caught in slavery through bonded labor, sex trafficking and cybersex trafficking – a $150 billion industry. IJM exists to end it.

We learned how we, as Dairyland employees, are part of this work. We show up on a daily basis both as engineers, customer account coordinators, or production assemblers, and to further the work of effective organizations bringing lasting change to vulnerable individuals and communities. As Mike (President) and Julie said, “We want to thank you – not only those of you who are officially employed at Dairyland, but every one of you, whether spouse, child, or [industry partner]. Each of you truly make this possible. When you work with excellence, you contribute to the effectiveness of Dairyland and therefore contribute directly to this effort.”

To learn more about IJM’s work, stay tuned for upcoming posts or check them out at www.ijm.org.