Why BRAVE Education?

This animation by BRAVE Education and Uprising shows the power of applying this Upstream Thinking concept to anti-trafficking work. The concept of upstream thinking is attributed to Desmond Tutu's quote: “There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.” ― Desmond Tutu

<span>Photo by <a href="https://unsplash.com/@giggiulena?utm_source=unsplash&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">Mario Caruso</a> on <a href="https://unsplash.com/s/photos/mountain-river?utm_source=unsplash&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a></span>

Prevention is crucial.

Imagine this… You are walking along a river and see a child flailing in the water. Without a second thought you reach in, grab them and get to shore. Just as you settle on shore with the child you rescued, another child is in the river and needs rescuing! Of course, you jump in to save that child as well. But then there’s another! And another! While you are busy trying to save all the children, at some point the thought crosses your mind – “why are all these children in the river?!”

Good question. And the best way to find out is to go upstream and figure that out. By going upstream, you learn that along the river’s edge there are no protective barriers, and while some children keep away from the edge, others get close, and some get so close they fall in.

You are exhausted. Rather than continuing to yank children out of the river one by one, wouldn’t it make more sense to shore up that dangerous edge? Put in a protective barrier that prevents children from falling in the river in the first place.

This is the upstream parable.

BRAVE Education is providing tools to build those protective barriers to help prevent children from falling into that river in the first place.

The most teachable moments are before children are teenagers*. This is also before the average age of recruitment**. It is only logical to maximize the opportunity of an open and curious mind and use research-based education to both empower and protect. Using role-playing, film, and story BRAVE Education is able to get vital information into these young minds while also protecting their innocence and preserving their childhood.

* Berk, L. E. (2018). Development through the lifespan (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education
** Estes & Weiner, 2002