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Stop Human Trafficking
With Nomi Network

A few weeks ago I was wandering around the Columbus Circle Christmas Market when the Nomi Network booth caught my attention, because of their products made out of colorful recycled rice bags that I remembered from a trip to Cambodia many years ago.

I had the opportunity to chat with co-founder Alissa, and as she shared her vision for the women of Nomi Network in both Cambodia and India, I knew I had to do something for them.

About Nomi Network

Nomi Network is a non-profit named after eight-year-old Nomi who was rescued from sex trafficking and now lives in one of their partner shelters in Cambodia. She was sexually abused by multiple perpetrators in her home village and now lives with both physical and emotional scars that hamper her reintegration into society. Alissa and her other co-founder Diana met Nomi on a visit in 2008 and her story inspired and led to the creation of Nomi Network the following year.

(Photo credit: Nomi Network)

Their mission is to create economic opportunities for survivors and women at risk of human trafficking by empowering them with leadership, entrepreneurship and production skills to gain financial independence. They believe that by helping the women they work with, it in turn transforms the lives of their families and communities. (You can read more about their mission here.)

The women in the program are provided with one-on-one mentorship with hands-on training from fashion industry experts, and this equips them with techniques to create products that can be competitive in the global marketplace. The program not only trains the women in problem-solving but color and material exploration in product development as well as quality-control management, and there is also a specialized curriculum for illiterate women with no formal job experience.

Last year Nomi Network created and sustained 350 jobs for women in Cambodia and India and helped send 70 kids to school, preventing them from being vulnerable to trafficking.

(Photo credit: Nomi Network)

How to support them

You can support the work of Nomi Network by visiting their online store and purchasing their products. They have clutches, wallets, totes, apparel, ornaments and pillows that you can choose from, all lovingly and purposefully handmade by women in the program.

(Photo credit: Nomi Network)

They also have an exciting collaborating Willow Wears with actress and activist Mamie Gummer (daughter of the legendary Meryl Streep) that will be launched in Febrary 2016 and you can pre-order the collection now.

I decided to do some different this year for my upcoming birthday and started a fundraising campaign on CrowdRise. With some trepidation, I reached out to my contacts and asked if they would consider donating a small sum to Nomi Network (in lieu of birthday presents) to provide these women with life-changing opportunities.
I have been humbled by the generosity of my family and friends, because in less than 3 days I was able to reach my goal of $500 and the donations continue to come in. And as if that wasn't enough encouragement, I found out today through Alissa that all donations until December 31 are eligible for grant matching which effectively doubles the giving. Sometimes we have so little faith in what God can do when we choose to step out in faith and obedience!
If you feel compelled to give a little something, you can either contribute to my campaign or donate directly through their website. All donations are tax-deductible and will go directly to creating jobs as well as provide healthcare and safety support for these women.
We all have so much to be grateful for this year, and I hope that you will all have the most wonderful holiday season!
(Photo credit: Nomi Network)

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