Legal Services Program Helps Survivors Seek Justice
In 2018, Willow International launched its Legal Services Program. Funding for the program was made possible by Katten Muchin Rosenman Foundation, Inc—a branch of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.
Guest Blog: US Storage Centers Supports Willow International
Drew Hoeven, President and Chairman of Westport Properties, Inc. and US Storage Centers, Inc. stated “US Storage Centers is proud to contribute to such a meaningful cause. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Willow International and making a difference in the lives of human trafficking victims everywhere.”
Guest Blog: Willow “has the human factor covered.”
This past March I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Uganda to attend the judicial training that Willow was instrumental in organizing. As a funder, I often take trips to visit sites and/or organized events. Most of the time, I don’t know what to expect. I like walking in blind and letting the grantees show me what they want me to see. It’s an opportunity for the organizations to show their perspective on the issues and their solutions.
Reflections from Masaka
“It’s good to take risks,” she said, head cocked to one side with a twinkle in her eye. We were deep in the heart of rural Masaka, a Ugandan district renowned for its lush villages, paved highway, proximity to a known cannibal tribe, and delicious pork. This interview was the third in our first full day of field research on vulnerable communities’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding human trafficking.
A Reason to Smile
Willow international has empowered and supported me a lot. I was hopeless but Willow gave me hope. I have learned many different skills and I am ready to be a job creator not a job seeker. Willow is like a real mother when it comes to healing broken hearts. I was heartbroken in so many ways.I had not shared my painful story, but when I came to Willow I got the courage to share my story and Willow taught me how to overcome my pain. After graduation, I want to be exemplary in my village.
From Victim to Advocate
Large sunglasses and a scarf with the words “I love Jesus” covered Adie’s head and face as she stood before a room full of the country’s most powerful leaders. Adie’s Willow case manager sat on her right, holding her hand tightly. To Adie’s left, sat 3 other brave survivors of sex trafficking. The room was silent as she took the floor.
I Know Who I Am
I listening carefully to the words they were passionately singing. “All I require for life God has given me and I know who I am.” It was so clear that they had begun to believe the words they were singing. “Take a look at me I’m a wonder. I’m beautiful. I know who I am.”
10 Ways You Can Help
Fight Human Trafficking
Millions of men, women, and children around the world are living in slavery today. Many of us hear about it and want to do something, but the issue can seem overwhelming. We created a list that outlines 10 easy ways to help fight human trafficking. Together, we can help end human trafficking and provide restorative care to survivors.
Light Despite the Darkness
At 10am on November 15th I was asked by two different men if I was for sale. It was the morning after a late night of outreach in the red light district of Bangkok. I was walking the same streets to grab a coffee and process what I had just experienced. Resisting the urge to slap them in the face, I simply said no and kept walking. As I began to sip my coffee, I realized what had just happened and started to cry – not because I was offended, but because I had the freedom to say no. The night before I had talked to countless Ugandan women forced to work the streets. Enslaved young women with pimps demanding they sell their bodies to pay off an enormous debt. Women who didn’t have the freedom to say no, though every single fiber of their being yearned to.
6 Children Rescued
The phone rang early Friday morning. The head of the Ugandan Task Force was on the line with an urgent request. His team had raided a brothel in the Kiseni slums and found children being sold for sex. The task force needed the help of a trusted partner to provide housing and aftercare for the girls they had removed from the brothel. Phones kept ringing as we banded together to prepare the home and follow the proper procedure to receive these girls. We were made to do this work, to open our homes to these precious girls and provide them the shelter, love, and dignity they deserve.