Earlier this month we wrote about Somaly Mam, the courageous woman who escaped sexual slavery in Cambodia and has gone on to rescue thousands of girls forced into similar circumstances. Somaly visited Australia earlier this month and her tour was a great success. Well today we thought we’d give you some more information about the organisation that made Somaly’s visit possible – Project Futures.
Mission: To raise awareness; engage a generation; end sex trafficking
Project Futures is what happens when a group of socially engaged, motivated, determined and talented group of young people get together and decide to make a difference.
Having read Somaly Mam’s biography, The Road of Lost Innocence, Stephanie Lorenzo (the founder/creator of Project Futures) organised a bike ride across Cambodia to raise money for the Somaly Mam Foundation. Stephanie raised US$80,000 and Project Futures was born.
Project Futures is a non-profit organisation whose aim is to not only raise money, but to educate and raise awareness on the issue of human trafficking and sexual exploitation. The organisation attracts young professionals who wish to use their skills, drive and social networks for good.
Having formed a partnership with the Somaly Mam Foundation, money raised goes directly to the rescue, recovery, education and reintegration of those who have been rescued. In addition, the group aims to raise awareness of the slavery and sexual exploitation not only happening in South-East Asia, but also right here in Australia. Although human trafficking is the second largest, fastest growing form of organised crime, it largely goes unnoticed. Most of us are oblivious that this is happening right on our door-step.
At Project Futures it’s all about getting involved – ‘We are not simply after your donation, we need your voice.’ There are volunteering opportunities, you can organise your own fundraising or awareness project or sign up for their Cycle Challenges which they run either here in Australia or Vietnam and Cambodia.
In three short years Project Futures has donated over $400,000 to Somaly Mam’s work – an extraordinary achievement.
The Fish Chick would like to acknowledge Project Futures, Stephanie Lorenzo and the achievements of this inspired group of young people. With their energy, talent and determination no doubt in another three years they will be closer to: Mission Accomplished!
See you in the pond,
The Fish Chick.