When you support prevention work with The Freedom Story, you can specify if you want to sponsor scholarships through the Freedom Chapter, or you can direct your money toward where it’s needed most. With the help of the generosity of individual donors as well as charitable institutions, we’re able to work both deeply with at-risk individuals and broadly across communities to spread the power of prevention.
Here’s something to give you an idea of what exactly your dollars go toward.
Your money helps fund
Scholarships – we have 120 at-risk children whose education you are funding. Scholarships cover the costs of education for a year, and most of our students are supported through renewed scholarships over the course of multiple years until they graduate or are no longer at risk. And graduation parties for the students who graduate!
Home visits to build the student-mentor relationship – and everything else this relationship entails: chats, phone calls…late-night emergencies when there’s no one else to turn to. It also entails the wide variety of support students need to stay in school, from help with visits to the doctor when needed and making sure they take their medication, to fixing all the little things that turn into big things for those who don’t have enough resources – things that make kids unsafe or keep them out of school.
Initiatives to help kids access legal rights – things like getting stateless children registered and documented, helping ethnic minority children build their case and apply to obtain legal statuses that give them greater access to rights (including the hours spent in offices throughout the application process, which can often take years).
Afterschool activities – English classes, tutoring and homework help, fun games, life skills development, and community events.
Job skills training – as opportunities arise, our students learn about a variety of jobs, such as working in beauty salons or as tour guides, to expose them to possible career paths or job opportunities.
Workshops – training to raise awareness about issues and develop life skills to grow resilience in various areas, including protection against child abuse and trafficking, access to legal rights and human rights, online safety, and leadership and entrepreneurial skills.
Family camps to develop stronger communication and stronger family relationships.
Parent meetings to teach incoming families about our prevention programs and raise awareness about human trafficking and protecting themselves and their kids.
Outreach to migrant worker communities, as a particularly vulnerable group of people who are most likely to be targeted by traffickers and exploiters, training them to strengthen resilience within their own communities, thus expanding the reach of our prevention programs.
Providing PPE and hygiene kits for vulnerable migrant worker communities as well as district-level bureaucrats, facilitating a relationship of trust with which we have been able to help each other, bringing diverse skills, perspectives, and capacities to collaborate to solve specific anti-trafficking problems. These relationships are a key part of what makes us so effective in our work, rather than trying to work against such a huge problem as trafficking all on our own.
Developing material and staff to disseminate prevention methods to partner organizations, such as orphanages and church communities, to reach even more children who are at risk and strengthen others with the capacity to prevent trafficking in their communities too
Sustainable development at the family level – building on the existing skills of the families we work with, we teach about sustainable farming practices and business development through microloans. We also provide support at the household level with training, workshops, and projects that empower communities and raise living standards, thereby tackling poverty as a significant risk factor for trafficking and decreasing the lure of traffickers.
Coalition building with other anti-trafficking organizations and government agencies to collaborate on programs such as Child Safe and Friendly Tourism or other initiatives that strengthen resilience against trafficking at the societal level.
Translation services – our staff members not only helped translate for Burmese or ethnic minority people in cases of labor rights violations to help government officials process cases, they also provide valuable translation services to help our students and families communicate their stories to our communications staff so that we can share them with you.
Training on ethical storytelling – we provide workshops, training sessions, webinars, and a podcast on how to use storytelling to offer healing and dignity to the communities we serve, as well as expand awareness of the power of prevention and invite others to our work.
Staff development – ranging from attendance at professional conferences to retreats that help bolster the capacity to do such difficult emotional work, we invest in the needs of our staff to ensure they are supported in what they need to accomplish.
Research and evaluation – we conduct research that has allowed us to assess the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable communities, and we also conduct regular monitoring and evaluation of our programs to ensure that our work is driven by data and rigorously tested for success.
Prevention entails so much more than just alerting people to the lures of traffickers. It entails addressing all the factors that make them vulnerable to the lures in the first place. We have to arm them with the knowledge that those dangers exist and also make other choices possible and the benefits of those choices clearer. Trafficking and exploitation are so pervasive it takes a whole-of-society approach to truly combat this crime. Your support makes it possible for us to protect innocent children – and strengthen the communities around them so no one need be vulnerable to traffickers anymore.