50G Girls wrote -
Every so often we as humans come across something so heartbreaking that choosing to look the other way becomes impossible. For the 3 of us, Gesche, Jackie and Margot, the girls who live at 50 Grand Street (50G), this something was the courageous autobiography of the human trafficking survivor, Somaly Mam. As a child, Somaly was sold into a brothel by the closest thing she had to a grandfather, who himself physically and psychologically abused her. Her story is one of tragedy, courage, and triumph; and has now inspired us to help.
With $10 billion of annual revenue, human trafficking has become the third largest criminal industry in the world, surpassed only by the illegal arms and drug trade. The Council of Europe states that ‘people trafficking has reached epidemic proportions over the past decade’. Every year, over 2 million women and children are sold into slavery and this number will continue to grow unless people like us take action.
Somaly Mam did just that. She began her work of rescuing and rehabilitating survivors of human trafficking in her home country of Cambodia. Today, her foundation mainly focuses on Cambodia and Southeast Asia where it funds survivor shelters, provides direct assistance for rehabilitating victims, and most importantly works towards spreading awareness to eventually change mindsets that can one day prevent these atrocities. You can find out more about the Somaly Mam Foundation and its programs here: www.somaly.org
We URGE you to watch at least 5 mins of the embedded video clip on the left-hand side. It will make all the difference.
We will not just accept the existence of sex slavery - you and I can do something about it!
Please look at the information below to see how we are making an impact and how YOU can take part.
-- 50G MISSION STATEMENT--
Together, we strive to raise awareness of human trafficking and contribute funding to the rescue of survivors as well as to efforts targeted at the prevention of these crimes. We begin our quest in South East Asia. Our ultimate goal is to collect $50,000 (50G) to donate to the Somaly Mam Foundation.
-- HOW YOU CAN HELP --
By sparing a few dollars of our hard-earned money we have the power to help save survivors – and to protect at-risk girls from falling victim to this horrible trade. Every dollar counts and is 100% tax deductible.
Thirty dollar provides an HIV test and medical exam for a girl rescued from a brothel, this equals to ~2 drinks at a bar. Imagine what a difference we could make with a weekend worth of drinks or a month worth of coffee!
$25 - Helps provide computer training for a 5-18 yr old survivor at shelters in Southeast Asia
$120 - Helps provide a survivor a year’s worth of specialized training in weaving, sewing, salon, or other vocational skills that will help her get a job and stay employed
$12,000 - Pays for the annual salary of a full-time doctor – one of the most important factors ensuring a healthy future and a new start
2. Spread the Word
Talk to others about what you have learned - growing international awareness is necessary to exert pressure on governments to do more in this fight against human trafficking
-- ON-GOING -- Watch out for our upcoming events and activities. Join us and have fun doing so!
We are proud to announce that 50G has partnered with De Santos restaurant (www.desantosnyc.com) to host events and promotions throughout the year. This includes a monthly 50G brunch where De Santos will donate a portion of our bill to the cause. Stay tuned.
[All photographs are courtesy of Norman Jean Roy] - Norman is a prominent portrait photographer and the winner of numerous awards for his contributions to the world of editorial photography he is also an activist and Board Member of the Somaly Mam Foundation
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*We can be contacted via 50G.NYC@gmail.com