Friday, August 4, 2017

Feel Good Friday - International Sanctuary

I learned about today's Feel Good Friday organization, International Sanctuary, because a coworker volunteers there and just came back from a trip to India. Here's what you need to know.

International Sanctuary, or iSanctuary, is an organization that "empowers young women rescued from human trafficking through education, income, health care, and community." Founded in 2007 by Stephanie Pollaro, "iSanctuary has served hundreds of young women in Mumbai, India and Orange County, California." Mumbai has one of Asia's largest red light districts and Orange County is a major stop on the trafficking circuit.

The problem of human trafficking is explained with some shocking statistics from the iSanctuary website: 45.8 million people are enslaved in the world today, 80% are women and over 50% are children. Every country, including the United States, is affected by this $32 billion a year industry.

The mission of iSanctuary "is to empower people escaping human trafficking to embrace their true identity and worth." The vision is to have 10 new sanctuaries worldwide by 2020 and funds are currently being raised for a location in Uganda.

The existing sanctuaries in Mumbai and Orange County are the next step for survivors after they are rescued and their basic needs such as shelter, food and clothing are met. iSanctuary provides medical and dental care, education, counseling, life skills training, micro loans and financial training, university scholarships, job training and employment! Since inception, iSanctuary has served over 300 women and girls and enabled them to create better lives for themselves and their children.

Watch this 2:09 minute introductory video to see the women whose lives are being changed and, if you like what you see, support the work of iSanctuary by volunteering your time, donating your money or shopping for Purpose Jewelry, made by survivors.

Liking the International Sanctuary Facebook page and following them on Twitter @isanctuary are great ways to stay in the loop and share the work being done to combat human trafficking.