I am working to raise funds for a dynamic, small nonprofit called the International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA). IOFA focuses on the most critical issues facing vulnerable youth around the world, with high impact projects in Chicago, New York, Cambodia, and Ethiopia.
Adolescents, aged between 12 and 25, represent one of the largest portions of victims of slavery and human trafficking. Approximately 100,000 American youth per year in the US are vulnerable to sex trafficking, and every year around 15,000 people from other countries are trafficked into the United States and enslaved. The numbers on a global level are equally staggering: it is estimated that around 3 million people are currently enslaved around the world. Vulnerability factors include young age, lack of parental care, history of abuse, and poverty. It's hard to believe that slavery still happens today, and even harder to believe that it happens right in our backyard.
In response to this shocking human rights violation, IOFA has been a leader in New York and Illinois in building community responses to human trafficking of adolescents, and has also developed programs in Cambodia and Ethiopia to help prevent parentless youth from falling prey to human trafficking.
To continue their cutting-edge work, IOFA needs to raise $90,000 by the end of this year. For my part, I am committing to help IOFA raise $20,000.
To learn more about IOFA's innovative programs to protect youth from trafficking and exploitation, please visit their website at iofa.org or their blog at iofa-talk.blogspot.com. You may notice I bear a striking resemblance to one of IOFA's key staff...
Please give generously for this worthy cause.