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The Nonprofit Strategist

Working with Good People Leads to Good Things

The headline seems self-evident, but many of us might admit that the idea is sometimes honored in the breach; not so for us in this recent case.

We’re just back from a six day workshop in London that we designed to help community-based women’s organizations from around the world increase the impact of their anti-slavery, anti-trafficking work. This is an under-appreciated problem—didn’t we solve that in the 19th century? Not quite. Global estimates suggest there are between 20 and 40 million people who are victims of modern slavery, most often as a result of forced labor or marriage, with profits from this sordid business of as much as $140 billion annually.  

It’s hard to put into words what this particular project means to me. What these women do every day is little known and most certainly under-appreciated. For many decades, they have labored quietly in the most vulnerable communities to rescue trafficking victims, advocate for the voiceless, and prevent slavery from happening in the first place. Often, they do so at great risk to themselves, and indeed, some have died.

The most important work they do, truly, is to place vulnerable people at the center of their effort. Their focus is on the whole person and enabling a life of dignity.  Their project of eliciting human worth through direct action is close to my own perspective, and close to my heart.

It is a true privilege to partner with them, and with the Arise Foundation, the originator of the project and also a funder of this good work.

We hope our new friends succeed in building bridges with international human rights and anti-slavery funders, and in so doing, save even more lives. We can also hope they gained from us a little of the knowledge they need for their journey, but we know that in reality they will succeed more because of who they are, how they live their lives, and the positive impact of their work on some of the world’s most vulnerable and bereft people.