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    Target Bulletin               March 2014

    Free The Girls was chosen by an overwhelming majority of FAWCO Member Clubs to be the next Target Project.  Presentation Photo (left to right):  Melissa Watson, National Director, Free The Girls; MyLinh Kunst, President, FAWCO; Kimba Langas, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Free The Girls; Catherine Marland, FAWCO Rep and Application Sponsor, AWC Surrey; Betsy Speer, President, AWC Surrey; Johanna Dishongh, Chair, FAWCO Target Program; Michele Hendrikse DuBois, President, FAWCO Foundation. 

    Organizations who provide rehabilitation services to trafficking survivors report the greatest single challenge to reintegration into society is finding sustainable employment.  These women, often lured or kidnapped into prostitution as young as 10 years old, have no education or marketable job experience when they are rescued in their late teens or early twenties, making it difficult for them to support themselves and their children, much less return to school.  Free The Girls provides free job training and an initial inventory of bras to help the women set up their own business.  In-country staff supervise these budding entrepreneurs, encouraging them and providing one-on-one coaching, allowing each woman to blossom into a confident, successful business owner.  The women purchase additional inventory from Free The Girls and that money is used to cover the in-country costs of storage, import and transportation of inventory.  

    The initial Mozambique operation is financially independent due to the inventory wholesale to women in the program.  Free The Girls will use funding from FAWCO to create the infrastructure needed to support their recent expansion into Uganda and El Salvador and planned future expansion into Lesotho and Mexico.  They currently have two paid part-time staff - the Executive Director, Kimba Langas and as of March 2014, an Inventory Manager, Pam Gumns - and a strong core of 100 volunteers in the US, providing hundreds of hours of time, plus considerable pro bono services.  To ensure Free The Girls' long-term viability, they need to establish paid executive and staff positions that provide leadership, consistency and accountability, as well as expand the storage facility to support the increasing amounts of inventory.  

    By economically empowering women through this project, we can reduce the likelihood of them returning to the streets to support themselves.  The women earn enough to allow them to support their families, return to school and eventually find other employment.  Moreover, by empowering women, we impact the next generation by decreasing the possibility that their children, particularly daughters, will be sold, kidnapped or lured into a life of prostitution.

    Free The Girls directly supports two key UN Millennium Development Goals, Target 3 - Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women, and Target 8 - Global Partnership for Development.

    Johanna Dishongh 

    Target Program Chair


    Backing Women

    In their commitment to assist Member Clubs with their fundraising efforts for the Target Project, The FAWCO Foundation has created a two-year fundraising campaign, Backing Women.  The logo was inspired by artwork by the renowned French artist Christian de Laubadère, whose collection of works "The Necks" depict the nape of the neck as a powerful symbol of strength and femininity.


    The FAWCO Foundation has provided a "Basic Fundraising Tool Kit" to help FAWCO Member Clubs create and plan their fundraising projects. The information is on the Backing Women USB key and on The FAWCO Foundation's website.  In addition, The FAWCO Foundation has organized FAWCO-wide fundraising activities: 

    Be sure to keep a lookout for possible future fundraising events and projects, such as:

    • The Backing Women Photography Competition
    • An African Safari
    • Site Visit to Denver and Mountain excursion

    Questions?  Contact The FAWCO Foundation at: .

    Something to Think About.....

    1. Human trafficking is slavery. 

    Human trafficking is modern-day slavery.  It involves one person controlling another and exploiting him or her for work.  Like historical slavery, human trafficking is a business that generates billions of dollars a year. 

    2. It's happening where you live. 

    Stories about human trafficking are often set in far-away places, like cities in Cambodia, small towns in Moldova, or rural parts of Brazil.  But human trafficking happens in cities and towns all over the world, including in the United States.  Enslaved farmworkers have been found harvesting tomatoes in Florida and picking strawberries in California.  Young girls have been forced into prostitution in Toledo, Atlanta, Wichita, Los Angeles, and other cities and towns across America.  Women have been enslaved as domestic workers in homes in Maryland and New York. 

    3. It's happening to people just like you. 

    Human trafficking doesn't discriminate on the basis of race, age, gender, or religion.  Anyone can be a victim.  Most of the human trafficking victims in the world are female and under 18, but men and older adults can be trafficking victims too.  While poverty, lack of education, and belonging to a marginalized group are all factors that increase the risk of being trafficked, victims of modern-day slavery have included children from middle-class families, women with college degrees, and people from dominant religious or ethnic groups.

    4. Many products you eat, wear, and use every day may have been made by victims of human trafficking. 

    Human trafficking isn't just in your town - it's in your home, since human trafficking victims are forced to make many of the products we use every day.  Many of those 'edibles' in your kitchen, such as rice, chocolate, fresh produce or fish, may have been harvested by trafficking victims.  If you're wearing athletic shoes or cotton underwear, you might be wearing something made by slaves. Human trafficking in the production of consumer goods is so widespread, most people in America have worn, touched, or consumed a product of slavery at some point.

    5. We can stop human trafficking in our lifetime. 

    The good news is not only that we can end human trafficking around the world, we can end it within a generation. But to achieve that goal, everyone needs to work together. Already, activists around the world are launching and winning campaigns to hold governments and companies accountable for human trafficking, create better laws, and prevent trafficking in their communities. You can fight trafficking by buying from companies that have transparent and slave-free supply chains, volunteering for or donating to organizations fighting trafficking, and talking to your friends and family about the issue. Together, we can fight human trafficking ... and win.


    Women and the U.N.

    FAWCO President, MyLinh Kunst and UN Rep, Erica Higbie, attended the 58th session of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, March 2014.  Read more about their experience here.


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