Groups work toward putting stop to human trafficking with ‘Red Sand Project’

The creative awareness effort is in line with January being Human Trafficking Awareness Month
Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 10:58 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - In line with January being Human Trafficking Awareness Month, multiple community organizations in the Wichita area gathered near the Keeper of the Plains in Wichita Friday. Among them were those representing the Red Sand Project, an effort to raise awareness about human trafficking.

The Red Sand Project is a creative movement that has people stopping to look. The Red Sand Project symbolizes the importance of preventing trafficking victims from falling through the cracks. The red sand stands out when poured into cracks in concrete, bringing attention organizers want.

“It’s an amazing awareness project because when you see red sand in cracks around town, they are gonna ask questions,” said Soutdaly Sysavath, director of runaway homeless youth programs in Wichita.

The joint effort within the Red Sand Project allows people to question, connect and take action.

“Unfortunately, in our community, (and) in many communities across the nation, we have people that look to take advantage of children in those vulnerable situations,” said Child Advocacy Center Director Diana Schunn. “And so we need to be aware of those situations and making sure we can connect them into appropriate resources and support services.”

The U.S. Department of Justice identified Kansas, because of its central location, as a state where human trafficking often starts.

“The more you know, the more willing you’ll be able to get help before you fall deeper into the cracks,” Sysavath said.

If you or someone you know is at risk of human trafficking or living in an unsafe situation, there is a 24-hour hotline you can call: 316-262-HOME.