19 Mar How Beauty For Freedom fights the crisis of human trafficking and empowers survivors
by: MYRA POSTOLACHE
”GIVING A VOICE TO THE VOICELESS.”
Today, there are an estimated 40.3 million people living in slavery through- out the world. New York City serves as a gateway and is one of the largest destinations for trafficked women entering the country. In every borough of NYC, women are being exploited for sex. Traffickers often recruit women through deceptive job ads or false promises, exploiting vulnerabities such as immigration status, debt, education, language, or children.
BEAUTY FOR FREEDOM
Beauty for Freedom 501(c)(3) exists to empower survivors of human trafficking and at-risk youth through holistic creative art therapy programming that equips survivors with the tools they need to lift themselves up. Their team of volunteer artists conduct a series of self-care, health/wellness, fashion, photography and design workshops for survivors. These workshops help strengthen their self- esteem and help them find their creative voice to express themselves freely.
They also work to bring about community awareness on the issues by hosting discussion panels, producing exhibitions featuring art and photography works by the survivors from their workshops and fundraising events. They encourage the community to learn about the issues, share on social media, donate and volunteer.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE DOING
Beauty for Freedom provides creative therapy at no cost to survivors of human trafficking and at-risk youth who have experienced trauma.
”We need your help in order to meet the demand for services in the areas that we work in the USA and Abroad. Our program provides a proven therapeutic approach and creative outlet to help heal the most challenged populations. It is designed to empower, help people get back on their feet, teach coping skills, relieve stress and give participants a chance to become engaged, active members of their communities.
Please consider joining our movement. You can choose a variety of options you wish to support, donate or sponsor. The generosity of supporters will be recognized in the Beauty for Freedom Annual Report and on our website: www.beautyforfreedom.org.”
BEAUTY FOR FREEDOM #ProjectGhana | Challenging Heights
To sustain and grow their empowerment initiatives through the arts, Beauty for Freedom partnered with Challenging Heights teaching an art therapy initiative featuring photography, watercolor painting and mural workshops to over 300 youth at the CH Friends International Academy and 58 young survivors of labor trafficking currently housed in the recovery program at the Challenging Heights Hovde House. Beauty for Freedom brought in over 150 lbs of art supplies and professional DSLR camera equipment the youth used to create original artwork in the workshop series from June 24-July 7th, 2017.
The workshops culminated in a community art exhibition supporting the creative process of the youth. The exhibition included Inside Out Project photography walls, an empowerment art mural featuring hopes and dreams of the youth, and their original paintings for textile design. All of the youth’s artwork was then transported to the US and will be featured in fashion design collaborations, group exhibits with professional artists and a photo book which will be additional fundraisers produced by Beauty for Freedom for Challenging Heights’ local programming in Ghana.
“Deploying arts and art therapy is a big part of our work at Challenging Heights. Remember there is an issue of self-esteem with survivors, so this work with Beauty for Freedom helps these children to have improved self-esteem…to hope and to dream that anything is possible and that they can do it! Challenging Heights is an organization that I created to solve the issues I faced in my childhood. A childhood where I was sold into slavery at the age of 6 years old and finally escaping at the age of 13, working up to 17 hours per day facing unspeakable abuses and hard labor. I wish that I had someone to care for me, to rescue me to save me. I found the opportunity to do so with these survivors with Challenging Heights and partnerships with organi- zations like Beauty for Freedom can help us reach the goals of eradicating child slavery in Ghana.”
– James Kofi Annan | President of Challenging Heights and Survivor of Child Slavery