Sex slave trade focus of trip to Europe
The realisation that life wasn’t all about her led a 21-year-old medical student to take a break from her studies to volunteer at an organisation rescuing women from slave labour.
Kate Fitzmaurice has completed three out of six years of her study towards becoming a doctor but from April will be working as an operational intern in Thessaloniki, Greece, with the A21 Campaign.
‘‘This one night I just could not sleep. I kept thinking about waking up and realising how my life was all about me and how I’d missed the point.
‘‘We grew up with the motto of ‘to whom much is given, much will be required’. I want to live my life like that. I pretty much decided that night,’’ she said.
Fitzmaurice will be working with victims of human trafficking in an aftercare shelter for girls who have escaped or been rescued from sex slavery.
The organisation takes only three interns per intake and has hundreds of applicants.
‘‘I wasn’t really expecting to get it.
‘‘I’m super-excited, but I also don’t know how to feel because I don’t know what it will be like until I get there.’’
The Tawa resident said she became aware of how big of a problem human trafficking was after reading a book on it last year.
‘‘A year ago I hardly knew anything about it. Not many people have a grasp on how big it is.
‘‘We think we have got over the slavery thing, but it’s at the worst it’s ever been.’’
Upon her return at the end of the year, she will finish her degree.
‘‘I am hoping one day medicine will take me back to people overseas like these girls.’’
Good heart: Kate Fitzmaurice, 21, is taking a year off her study to help rescue women from sex trafficking.