50G Girls wrote -
Our Sisters Need Us
Every so often we as humans come across a reality so heartbreaking we have no choice but to get involved.
For the three of us, Gesche, Jackie, Margot - the girls who live at 50 Grand Street (50G), reality kicked in after reading the heart-wrenching autobiography of human trafficking survivor Somaly Mam. As a young girl, Somaly suffered years of abuse in the hands of human traffickers in Cambodia. She 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 ultimately triumph. With her admirable strength she has now inspired us to take action.
The FBI estimates that human trafficking pulls in $10 billion of annual revenue, making it the third largest criminal industry in the world, surpassed only by the trade of illegal arms and drugs. The Council of Europe states that “people trafficking has reached epidemic proportions over the past decade”. Every year, over two million women and children are sold into slavery and this number will continue to grow unless people like you and I take action.
Somaly Mam began her work in Cambodia, rescuing and rehabilitating survivors, many of them little children and young girls. Her foundation has since expanded, educating and saving victims of human trafficking in countries throughout Southeast Asia. With the help of donations her foundation sustains survivor shelters, provides direct assistance for rehabilitating victims, and works towards changing global mindsets to one day claim the end of these atrocities. You can find out more about the Somaly Mam Foundation and related 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 can make an impact together.
-- 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 dollars provides an HIV test and medical exam for a girl rescued from a brothel, this equals to ~2 drinks at a bar. Imagine the difference you could make by contributing a weekend’s worth of drinks - or a month’s 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
At this very moment young girls in South East Asia are experiencing a hell similar to and oftentimes more violent to that of Somaly’s. Together we have the ability to give them a new life.
2. Spread the Word
Talk to others about what you have learned. Growing international awareness is crucial in pressuring governments to be more active in the war 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 at: 50G.NYC@gmail.com