O.U.R. and Mentors International are partnering to further enable survivors of trafficking to build successful futures.
Mentors International’s mission is to provide mentoring, business mentoring and access to financial services and small loans to those in extreme poverty. They offer twelve-week business classes in seven different countries to teach self-reliance and business skills. O.U.R. has been honored to assist Mentors International in putting on these twelve-week business classes in South America for survivors in our partner aftercare homes. Mentors International says they are excited about the opportunity to directly help those that have been rescued by O.U.R.
Those in poverty are at high risk for trafficking because of the vulnerabilities that come with the situation. The opportunities provided by Mentors International can have a great impact on human trafficking survivors who, when rescued, may not have anyone to take care of them or anywhere to go.
“Microfinance has an inherent ability not only to mitigate human trafficking but also to treat its victims,” according to Dr. Makonen Getu, Director for Strategic Alliances, Opportunity International, USA. “It can offer jobs and income opportunities to potential targets and survivors of human trafficking as part of the prevention and rehabilitation processes. Microfinance can make the integration of survivors into society easier by helping them to create jobs for themselves. This helps them not only to integrate quickly but also not to fall back into in the hands of traffickers.”
The twelve-week business program is very helpful to trafficking victims as they begin to build a bright new future. When the classes are over, the students have the opportunity to start their own business with a micro-loan from Mentors International. Without our partnership with Mentors International, we would not be able to support as many survivors.
It is important to us to collaborate with others to strengthen the fight against human trafficking. Mentors International is another organization that partners with the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation (dHHF), which is doTERRA’s charity foundation dedicated to fighting trafficking. We value the support that the dHHF gives us and other organizations like Mentors International that are working to support the anti-trafficking movement.
We have seen many successful businesses start from the ground up. Some have started their own food carts, restaurants, and convenient stands, and others have started beauty salons and become nail technicians. The possibilities are endless. We are so happy to see so many survivors reach their dreams.
Ron Dunford, President and CEO of Mentors International, shared a story about the success of these business classes. “Last month I met with two of our mentors working in the aftercare facility in Peru. They said their greatest joy was when they saw that “light bulb moment” in a young woman’s eye. When they realized that they could become successful, they could start respectable businesses, and that it was going to happen thanks to the financial support of micro-loans through Mentors International.” These women soak up the business knowledge gained in Mentors International’s business skills classes, eager to fulfill their dreams.
We share the belief with Mentors International that once someone comes in contact with us, we take them in as one of our own. We enjoy receiving updates about our survivors, visiting their businesses, and shopping at their stores. It takes a lot of work to keep up a business and deal with challenges along the way, and Mentors International provides ongoing mentorship and help for their clients.
We stand with Mentors International in their pledge: “Human trafficking is a global problem, and we pledge to be a strong force for good.” We are grateful for the opportunity to work with them and to provide great resources for survivors around the world. We are excited to see the continued success of students that participate in the twelve-week business program.
We work all over the world to rescue and protect children from trafficking. An important part of our work is in our own backyard. Read about how we help survivors of trafficking in Utah HERE.
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