Here is Ken with an important guest blog post:
After our recent trip to India, the Josie Girl went home and I moved on to Manila, to work out of our factory for a week. While there, I also had the privilege of visiting the Visayan Forum Foundation, a charity we are now happily supporting. Visayan has for 25 years been innovating solutions to end human, and particularly child trafficking in the Philippines. In addition to fighting to shut down and prosecute trafficking organizations and individuals, Visayan has also been helping rehabilitate, train, and educate rescued victims of trafficking. My visit to their rehabilitation home, the Center of Hope, was beyond overwhelming.
Hearing these girls, ages 4-15, tell their trafficking stories was heartbreaking. Some lured online by predators, some misled by supposed friends, some shuttled internationally, some even sold by family members…. each story was as painful to hear as the next. The girls had suffered the unspeakable.
In addition to hearing about their heartbreaking stories and their suffering was the stark realization that the child trafficking infrastructure is more widespread and sophisticated than anyone dares to acknowledge. There is a large network out there that specifically targets these children, and we are proud to support organizations like Visayan whose mission is to shut them down and rehabilitate the victims.
The visit to the Visayan’s Center of Hope was one of the most overwhelming experiences of my life, and I look forward to helping raise awareness about this international issue and providing organizational support. We also look forward to educating and training any of the graduates who want to get into the design or manufacturing industry at our nearby factory. To learn more about Visayan, including how to support it, you can visit our Natori Gives Back page here, which also includes other charities dedicated to supporting and empowering women around the world.