At the age of 16, Lillian Bradley started a non-profit to help survivors of human trafficking and she continues to be the change she wishes to see in the world.
Ghandi once said, “you must be the change you wish to see in the world,” life is full of opportunities to actively engage in positive change. Everyday is a chance to be better and inspire others. My name is Lillian Bradley and this is the story of my journey towards the change I wish to see in the world. This is my story.
I was born in Ghana, Africa in a little town called Lartebiokorshie, where I stayed with my relatives. I was raised in poverty. Two generations of our family lived in a small two bedroom cement building with a tin roof. The male provider in the home tried to make a living as a shoemaker, which brought in very little money. I suffered illnesses such as malaria along with malnourishment. I was stuck and my family greatly struggled to take care of me, and provide for each other.
At age three, my family met a sweet couple who often came to visit us. They were from the United States. My relatives told this couple that I needed to be adopted because they did not have the means to take care of me anymore in our living conditions. This couple returned home to the small town of Heber City, Utah. There, they announced to their friends, family, loved ones and more. Asking if anyone would be willing to go to West Africa to adopt a three year old girl – quite the task, don’t you think? Well my adoptive parents decided that they would be the ones to travel to West Africa and get their little girl. I was adopted into an amazing family and raised in the town of Heber City, Utah.
At age thirteen, I traveled back to my homeland for the first time since being adopted. I became reacquainted with my origin. It was an experience I will never forget! After returning home from this trip I recognized the effects of human trafficking. This occurrence fueled my desire to help survivors of Human Trafficking and Modern day Slavery in anyway I possibly could.
At age sixteen, I founded the non-profit organization, Fahodie for Friends (Fahodie means freedom in “Twi” the native dialect in Ghana), that has helped fund nineteen survivors of Human Trafficking in West Africa. Most recent projects include helping provide food, education, and a clean water to the children and families in Liberia and West Africa. I have also been involved in giving many speeches in the United States, representing Fahodie for Friends, to raise awareness about the illegal industry. Recently, I have started an Instagram and blog called desyre2inspyre. It is a space where people like you can go and purchase ethical, organic and fair trade fashion. Overall, I have been able to use my voice for those who have been silenced.
I have come a long way in my journey but this is equally possible for you. I started at age sixteen with a desire to simply help someone. I did what I could within the circumstances that I had and it has resulted in the difference I am currently making. You can do the same. Move forward into the world as a light for others who may be in darkness. Be creative, use your talents, and be the hope for those who may feel hopeless. The opportunity is yours, now just take it. Like Ghandi says, in order to inspire the change you wish to see you must be the change.