Emily Gowen via Crowdrise
May 13, 2012
EVENT DATE: Jun 12, 2012
My name is Emily Gowen, I’m currently a rising senior at Williams College, and I need your help in a project I’m undertaking this coming summer.
I’ve made plans to travel to London for an internship with a nonprofit organization called HERA-Her Equality, Rights and Autonomy. HERA’s mission is to combat one of the most widespread and urgent global human rights crises happening today: the trafficking of young women for sexual enslavement and forced prostitution.
HERA’s approach is two pronged. The first part of their mission is one of rehabilitation. Each summer, during the first two weeks of July, HERA offers an entrepreneurship-training course to formerly trafficked women who have been recommended to them by social workers and rescue agencies. During the course, they learn new skills, meet other women who have experienced similar traumas to their own, and begin to regain a sense of self-worth and autonomy that will eventually impel them towards taking charge of their own lives again. To assure that the students have the support necessary to succeed, each woman is then paired with a mentor who stays with her for a full calendar year, helping to get her established in her new career. To help prevent the trafficking of more young women, HERA also allocates grant money to small business owners in the developing world that then can offer gainful employment to young women who would otherwise be at great risk of being trafficked.
During my Internship this summer, I will be working in both the prevention and rehabilitation branches of the project. I will arrive in London in mid-June, and I will begin to help the HERA team set up for the course that takes place during the first half of July. When the course starts, I will be working directly with the students, teaching computer classes, participating in seminars, and assisting in team-building workshops.
Then, when the course is finished, I will travel to Eastern Europe--specifically Georgia, Armenia and the Ukraine--where I will conduct research on how grantees have used the money they’ve received from HERA in years past, and speak with women about how HERA can better serve their needs in the future.
I pursued this internship because Human Trafficking is a problem that we can no longer afford to ignore. Women and girls are living and dying in captivity all over the world, and only a dedicated few are speaking up on their behalf. Ultimately, I hope to go to law school and obtain a degree in International Human Rights Law, because I want to spend my life fighting the trafficking and enslavement of young women. HERA is the perfect place for me to start learning about what a career in this field would look like. This experience will be life changing for me, and my hope is that I can bring back what I learn and use it to help educate people in the U.S. about this urgent global problem. There is a calamitous need for us to act fast and intentionally against the poisonous effects of human trafficking, and I want to add my voice to the long awaited call to arms.
In order to complete this project, I need to raise between $3,500 and $4,500. I will be working in Europe for 9 weeks, and the money will pay for my living expenses and travel fares. Anything I don’t use will be donated to HERA directly. If you want to learn more about HERA, visit their website at www.herequality.org. I am scheduled to leave the U.S. on June 12th, so please donate by June 5th.
Thank you so much for your time and concern. Your contribution will be greatly appreciated.