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The Emancipation Network  

Monday, April 6, 2009

Good evening! Tonight I bring a very important issue/cause to your attention.

Human Trafficking.

It's a very real issue in the global community and these women need our help!

There's a site out there to help raise money for these women: The Emancipation Network and here are some ways that you can help.

The Emancipation Network was founded by a husband and wife team:

Sarah Symons is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Emancipation Network, a social purpose non-profit business fighting human trafficking through the import and sale of handicraft products made by survivors and people at high risk for being sold into slavery, offering economic empowerment, and the hope of a future to survivors.
Along with her husband John Berger, Symons started the organization with her own money and the contributions of a few concerned friends.
Prior to starting T.E.N., Symons worked both in the nonprofit and business worlds. From 1990-1994, she served as Program Director and Artist in Residence for Creative Arts Workshops, a program serving homeless kids in New York City. In this capacity, Symons provided direct services to youth, managed volunteers, planned and implemented large-scale art projects, and launched a teen program.
From 1994 to the present, she has worked as a composer of TV music, and as a recording artist. She was also the founder and President of Endurance Music, a source music company and recording studio. Symons’ music is frequently heard on national network TV, and in regional radio advertising.
Symons found out about the issue of modern day slavery at a film festival, where one of her compositions was featured in a film. She began volunteering for a shelter featured in the film, and was invited to visit the group in Nepal, where she got the idea for fighting slavery with economic empowerment, which led to the launch of T.E.N.
Symons graduated in 1990 from the University of Pennsylvania, with a magna cum laude degree in Communications.

John Berger is the co-founder and CEO of TEN. He brings 18 years of Wall Street business experience to the organization, having worked as an investment banker and V.P. of institutional equity sales at Prudential Securities, Schwab Investments, Smith Barney and BB&T.
Berger specialized in capital markets including: Institutional Investment Research, Mergers and Acquisitions, Restructuring, Venture Capital, and structuring and underwriting of private placements and IPOs and other equity, debt and derivative securities. He is an expert in evaluating companies by analyzing business strategy, management, financial structure, industry dynamics, technology and competitive position in a variety of industries.
From 1996 to 1998, he served as a Board Director and Treasurer at Creative Arts Workshops for Kids, a program serving homeless kids in New York City.
At T.E.N., he specializes on marketing, sales, operations, logistics, and business development for NGO partners.
Berger is a graduate of Williams College, with a degree in Political Science. He is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.
Symons and Berger are the parents of two children, Maya, 10 and Luke, 8, and live in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Some background on Human Trafficking:

* 27 million people around the world are estimated to be victims of slavery, for forced prostitution, labor, domestic work, and other forms of exploitation, with approximately 50% of victims being under the age of 18. Source: UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)

* Globally, an estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year, within countries as well as across borders,” Source: UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman.

* More than a million children are affected globally every year (ILO, 2005) Source: International Labour Organization (UN specialized agency)

* "Worldwide, at least 600,000 to 800,000 human beings are trafficked across international boarders each year. Of those, it is believed that more than 80 percent are women and girls… Source: George Bush, US Government

* Annually, according to U.S. Government-sponsored research completed in 2006, approximately 800,000 people are trafficked across national borders, which does not include millions trafficked within their own countries. Approximately 80 percent of transnational victims are women and girls and up to 50 percent are minors Source: US Government Tip Report 2007

* "Some 2.5 million people throughout the world are at any given time recruited, entrapped, transported and exploited-a process called human trafficking-according to estimates of international experts." Source: UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) Perspectives publication

* Every 10 minutes, a woman or child is trafficked into the United States for forced labor. Source: CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking)

* In the case of trafficking for sexual exploitation, girls often have their virginity sold first, followed by multiple rapes often leading to HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Source: UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)

* The children are often "sold" by unsuspecting parents who believe their children are going to be looked after, learn a trade or be educated. Source: UNICEF

* Victims of trafficking are subject to gross human rights violations including rape, torture, beatings, starvation, dehumanization, and threats of murdering family members. Source: UNODC

* After adjusting for inflation, a slave sold in 1850, would now roughly cost $30,000 to $40,000. Today you can go to Haiti and buy a 9-year-old girl as a sex slave for $50. Source: Benjamin Skinner, “A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery.

* The total market value of illicit human trafficking at $32 billion-about $10 billion is derived from the initial "sale" of individuals, with the remainder representing the estimated profits from the activities or goods produced by the victims. Source: UNODC

* A recent CIA report estimated that between 45,000 to 50,000 women and children are brought to the United States every year under false pretenses and are forced to work as prostitutes, abused laborers or servants.

* Children are trafficked to work in sweatshops as bonded labor and men work illegally in the "three D-jobs" – dirty, difficult and dangerous.

The Emancipation Network (TEN) helps to fight slavery with empowerment, education and hope.

TEN’s Programs include:

* INCOME GENERATION PROGRAMS for survivors and high risk people – an economic alternative to trafficking

* SCHOOL SPONSORSHIPS for kids born into brothels

* PARTNERSHIPS WITH 15 ANTI-SLAVERY SHELTERS (NGO partners) around the world





* REINTEGRATION SERVICES, including housing

TEN is a 501c3 federal tax-exempt organization, whose effectiveness has been recognized by the US State Department Office to Monitor and Prevent Trafficking and Persons.

MadeBySurvivors is a social purpose business that provides a US market for the handicrafts our survivors make. We use each sale to educate consumers, to forge a connection between them and survivors, and to motivate them to become abolition activists. MadebySurvivors sells products online, at, at home parties and community events across the US and Canada, and at our boutique on Cape Cod.

How You Can Help:

Purchase items from their online store, including this Bobble Ball purse:

“Survivors living and working at shelters gain self-sufficiency, education and a chance for better lives, while crafting purses such as our $35 quirky Bobble Ball Purse. Whether you are running to the grocery store, PTO, or going out to dinner, this unique purse will turn heads and make any outing more fun,” said Sarah Symons, Founder of The Emancipation Network.

“TEN’s Bobble Ball Purses are made by a collective of survivors and at risk women at a workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal. This group provides the survivors a community of confidantes and friends, working side by side, enabling them to become stronger. For many, this is their first experience of working outside of the home, or a shelter,” said Symons. “The women make thousands of bobbles that are sewn together into purses that come in two sizes. The small (shown) Bobble Ball Purse measures 9" x 5", in a cylinder shape, with a 22" strap and sells for $35 and the larger size measures 12” x 7” and sells for $50. Both purses have a black cotton lining and zip to close.”

The Made by Survivors site also offers home decor, handmade paper, and jewelry. They also have Eco-chic hangbags priced from $10-$50 that are handcrafted and are made from recycled garbage bags. Don't get it twisted; you can't even tell that they are made from garbage bags! They're colorful and gorgeous!

The Store also offers other Eco-friendly options, which will make great gifts for anyone on your list, or for yourself, especially in celebration of Earth Day.

The Eco-Chic collection includes the Messenger Bag, which measures 15” x 16”, fully-lined, with interior pockets, long shoulder strap and front flap with toggle closure, and costs $50. The Zip Top Case is 5” x 7” and sells for $12. The Camera/PDA Case is 4” x 7” x 1 ½” with a long string strap and toggle closure and costs $15. The Small Hand Bag measures 7” x 9” with shoulder strap, has interior pockets and toggle closure and sells for $25. The billfold wallet features plastic-lined card and photo pockets, has interior zip pockets, and costs $25. The Zippered Document Case, perfect for travel, is 5” x 9” x 1” and features multiple interior pockets for added security, and costs $30.

I urge you to stop by the site and look around, and if you are able, make a donation. If you are not able to make a donation, buy an item to support the cause. You can also host a home party or a community awareness event here.

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2 comments: to “ The Emancipation Network

  • Jennifer
    April 7, 2009 at 1:33 AM  

    Fantastic post about a fantastic organization!

  • Tiffany
    April 7, 2009 at 6:01 PM  

    I'm going to share the name of this organization with my daughter. She is very interested in this issue and has given her money to do so. She made sure that all the gifts she bought us for Christmas were fair trade approved, made by workers who were paid fairly for their work.

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