Did you know that, according to an estimate by the US government, every year, about 27 million men, women, and children become victims of human trafficking, and the situation seems to worsen with every passing hour?
Human trafficking is not just a crime committed by one person or a group of people. It isn’t just about who becomes the victim; it is about someone’s entire life at stake, it is about their families, their loved one who never lose hope of the ones lost; to return.
To raise awareness about the dangers of human trafficking and how the sick minds of these traffickers trick people, manipulating and using them to their own ends, the global coalition, STOP THE TRAFFIK, launched a GIFT Box in the 2012 Olympic Games to bring the issue to international limelight.
The GIFT box was a 10-foot high installation displayed on streets to educate passersby and on the fastest growing international crime. The idea to use the box as a bait and switch technique often used by traffickers to lure in their prey was sponsored by the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT), and the NGO Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons (CSTIP).
The graphics on the external view of the box were designed to look beguiling and bright enough to entice and intrigue the public to step inside to see what it held. But once the visitors stepped inside the box, they took no time to realize the box’s deception. The box in truth contains true heartbreaking stories from victims of human trafficking.
But that is exactly what the message was. The box’s enticing façade was a brilliant way to make the public aware on how the traffickers, by using misleading messages and tactics, forced their prey into doing things they didn’t want to do.
United Nations Committee to Stop Trafficking in Persons Representative Deb O’Hara-Rusckowski stated, “The real-life stories inside the GIFT Box will break your heart – but hopefully, open your heart. The biggest misconception is people thinking it happens far away in other countries. They cannot see that people are being trafficked right here in their very own cities, towns and neighborhoods.”
Our Part in All This
In 2014, we were contacted by Rita Fishman who wanted it to be displayed at Union Square after its success in London. With this thought in mind, we used the pictures of the London GIFT box and created our own blueprints to fabricate the box. We engineered this masterpiece and built it 10ft high in the air. The materials used to build the box included galvanized steel frame and aluminum walls with digital printed graphics. The box was then displayed at Union square and gained immense popularity and created awareness which was the initial goal of whole campaign.
Following suit, we were contacted in 2016 by our client Debra Rusckowski, who wanted us to build yet another GIFT box for a display in Boston. We took charge and built the box and delivered it with utmost care in our truck with our whole crew to Boston MA. It took a half a day to assemble the box but a big shout out to our loyal and dedicated crew members for being able to assemble it. Once again, the response was amazing.
Our latest project few months later after the Boston Gift Box assembly included the printing of graphics of yet another GIFT Box that was shipped to Haiti.
This GIFT Box project has been very special for us, it has made our organization value our customers more and we are continuously striving to put our ideas and skills to good use in the near future as well.