Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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October 13th 2011
United Nations

Ben Kaye from Anya17 meets Aranka and Syria from The United Nations (UN-GIFT) in London Oct 2011

It was wonderful to finally meet Siria and Aranka from UN.GIFT, with whom I had been liaising for so long before we had an informal get together this week in London. It was particularly poignant also to meet at the BFI Southbank, where the Composer Adam Gorb and I had so many meetings thrashing out the Opera.

Siria and Aranka had just flown over from Vienna on a very busy schedule indeed and were due to fly across the globe the next day, so it was great to catch up. UN.GIFT are about to launch (amongst many other things) a new Human Trafficking leaflet and would very much appreciate feedback from UK NGOs before publication, so if you don’t have their contact details then please do get in touch asap.

I was also delighted to finally meet Major Anne Read in person. Anne heads up The Salvation Army’s Trafficking Response Team and announced at the meeting that The Salvation Army will be backing Anya17 officially. As you can imagine, this was absolutely terrific news, especially in light of her many onerous new responsibilities in light of the current re-organisation. Thank you Anne – both for the support and also for racing across London to make it to the meeting!
The ever hard-working City Hearts were represented by Jenny, and I also had the chance to meet representatives from Equality Now and Odanadi UK, two very worthy organisations with whom I’d previously had little contact. I hope to write something in more detail about these remarkable Charities (and all the others) in a future blog.

To top off the meeting, both The Salvation Army and City Hearts astounded me by offering free venues in London, Sheffield and elsewhere to stage Anya17! Needless to say that this bodes very well for the future, and I must confess that at the moment I heard the news my jaw nearly hit the floor!

Tomorrow I’m meeting Bob Walter MP. Bob has been fantastic in championing the project, so I will fully brief him on all the updates and lobby him for further support of the cause.
Next week I will be attending the HTF Awards ceremony at The House of Lords on Monday (Anya 17 has been nominated!), before meeting The Prime Minister at No. 10 on Wednesday. It will be a very busy week indeed, but I hope to post more news as soon as I can. Until then…