Cathy Clarke originally from Australia now resides in London and with her husband Gary Clarke, 2 teenage children and dog and two cats! Together with her husband they are lead pastors of Hillsong Church London, now with over 14,000 members.
She is a co host in the UK of The Colour Sisterhood a foundation set up by Hillsong, a womens ministry and part of the church. The foundation was established in 2001 and with the stated aim to “give support and aid to the hurting people of the world”. The conferences run in Australia, London and Kiev.
She says ‘generally speaking, life is good and I feel very blessed.
But this is not my goal in life – to live a comfortable existence. I’m aware there is much more and to truly live life with a sense of fulfilment I need to go beyond my comfort zone, helping others and making this world a better place.
This brings me to the horrors of trafficking in human beings. “Trafficking in women is the second largest global organised crime today, generating approximately US$12 billion a year.” (Lazardis, G. 2001, Trafficking and Prostitution: The Growing Exploitation of Migrant Women in Greece. European Journal of Womens Studies.) When I began to realise the reality of statistics such as this, and many more, then I had to ask myself a simple question. Do I sit around, over a cup of ‘overpriced coffee’ with a few friends and discuss the shocking facts…
Having a 15 year old daughter myself – imagining the unimaginable – that girls her age are being subject to… “servicing from 40 – 100 customers a day” (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2009, Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns) Or, do I take a bold step forward and actually DO something?
Climbing the highest peak in Africa was not one of the first things that jumped into my mind!! But when I gathered together with a few other girlfriends who also had a desire to ‘make a difference’, suddenly climbing a huge mountain seemed possible.
Looking at the human trafficking stats can seem rather overwhelming but as I simply focus on the fact that every number is a person, then I can do my little bit and climb this mountain for the freedom of that person’.