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Allies

13.05.2009 in Uncategorized

Yesterday I met with an extremely elegant, gracious and passionate woman named Alooka. She is the founder and director of the Womens Interlink Foundation. Alooka has been tirelessly advocating for and helping trafficking victims for over 40 years! She is a major force to be reckoned with and one I’m glad we have as an ally.

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The Rhode Island Incident

04.05.2009 in Uncategorized

This is a true story….

On my way back from some time well spent at Sarah and John’s in Cape Cod, I had what one would call a potential disaster that thankfully didn’t realize it’s full potential.  As I arrived at the airport I began to prepare for the security line. I took my shoes off, took the change out of my pocket, puled my belt out of it’s loops and took my laptop out of my back pack. I mention my backpack last as that is where my troubles began.

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New Year, New School, New Hope

16.04.2009 in Uncategorized

 April 16, 2009

Yesterday was the Bengali New Year, and throughout the day I received calls from friends wishing me "Shubo Nobo Bosho!" It was indeed a joyous day for ten children from Kidderpore’s red light area. These children have been enrolled in a very well-known boarding school outside of Kolkata. They left today after saying goodbye to their mothers, who are so excited that their children will no longer grow up inside a brothel. I went to say goodbye and asked the kids if they were nervous about leaving. But all of them smiled and proudly said, "No, didi, we’re happy because there’s a good school and more kids to play with!"

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Leaving home, Coming home

24.03.2009 in Uncategorized

March 11, 2009

Happy Holi!!!!!!! As usual, I’m flying on Holi, one of the biggest Indian Holidays. It’s the Festival of Lights, the Hindu celebration of the coming of spring and first harvest. People across India throw colors at each other, which is symbolic of one of the legends of Krishna. He’s the blue god and one day, a bit jealous of his lover’s fair complexion, playfully threw colors on her. But just like last year, I missed the fun because of a long flight. It seemed to take forever to get home this time, mostly because I was so anxious to see the women at Destiny.

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Going All In to Fight Slavery

10.03.2009 in Uncategorized

 My abolition hero this month is author Kathleen McGowan, who is going "all in" – using her gifts and influence as a bestselling fiction writer to spread the word about slavery and to promote the work of our organization. In fact, Kathleen has pledged to donate 5% of the royalties of her newest release, The Book of Love (available at Amazon.com), to help us build a jewelry casting program for survivors in India!  

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Using Slumdog Millionaire to Fight Slavery and Human Trafficking

06.03.2009 in Uncategorized

I've got to be one of the last people to see Slumdog Millionaire, having only gone to see it this past week. Pretty much everyone I know has seen it, and as you might expect, all my friends know the work we do in human trafficking. I also read almost any blog post or news story that Google can find on trafficking or slavery, so I have a pretty good sense of what is going on. So while I knew that the movie had some trafficking it it, I was really surprised how strongly it was featured in the movie.

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More on Social Enterprise

05.03.2009 in Uncategorized

An article in the NYT got me thinking about Social Enterprise again. It’s a good article, but further reinforces the confusion about what the term means, and misses one of the single most important factors we all need to know about social enterprises, a factor I wish I knew about before I learned it the hard way.

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Squirrels, Elephants, and Cows

02.03.2009 in Uncategorized

What do squirrels, elephants and cows have to do with helping survivors of slavery?  This past weekend I found out, at a fundraising/awareness event among California’s Gujarati Indian community.  The guests really took us, our issue, and our girls into their hearts – several people offered to buy cows for an income generation project we are launching with our partner organization Rescue Foundation.  One of our speakers, Da-ji,  made a powerful call to action on our behalf.  He told a story about a squirrel who took part in a rescue of an abducted girl

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Volunteers Galore

13.01.2009 in Uncategorized

For the last few months, Smarita and I have been organizing a volunteer trip. A grand total of 14 volunteers came to spend 2 weeks working at several of our NGO partners. Some were sent to volunteer in one of the red light districts drop-in-centers. Others were sent to set up a preschool inside a shelter home, and the rest went to lead arts programs at a shelter home for recently rescued survivors.

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