As students rushed through Peirce Atrium this past week, they may have noticed a fundraiser for survivors and victims of human trafficking.
Jenny Tie ’21 collaborated with the International Society at Kenyon, the Center for Global Engagement (CGE), the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI), Kenyon Asian Identities, Sisterhood, South Asian Society and Chinese Culture Club to raise money by selling jewelry handmade by survivors of human trafficking.
Over the course of three days — Nov. 7 through 9 — students tabling for the End Human Trafficking Fundraiser sold over $4,000 in jewelry. The bracelets, necklaces, and bookmarks they sold were handmade by women who have been victimized by human trafficking.
Inspired by her sister’s volunteer experience in the Eden Ministry, an organization that reaches out to victims of human trafficking and provides safe shelters primarily in South Asia and China, Tie researched more about sex trafficking in Asia and the ministry’s work.
The ministry works in five major cities and has been active for over 15 years. It has already successfully rescued more than 500 women. Still, there are over 40 million victims of modern slavery around the world, and crucially, most of these victims are girls under 15 years old from rural areas without access to a formal education, according to the Eden Ministry.
In talking to the Eden Ministry, Tie discovered that some of the victims may not even know that they were deceived by kidnappers. Tie decided she wanted to do something to make a change.
“I asked the Eden [Ministry] what I can do, because I want to do my best to help them and also let more people know about this fact,” she said.
In addition to providing mental and physical support, the Eden Ministry also helps survivors develop the skills to make sure they can support themselves.
The ministry offers vocational training including English, computer skills, cosmetics and jewelry making, which is one of the most popular.
Tie thought the jewelry sale could be the best way to help get attention for the Eden Ministry, as all of the jewelry she received for the fundraiser was provided by the ministry and handmade by survivors of sex trafficking.
“For the sale, 80 percent of our proceeds will go directly to these women in the form of their salaries, and 20 percent will go to funding the Eden [Ministry] for their work like outreach, safe houses, medical care and vocational training,” Tie said.
Within three days, all of the products were sold, and Tie and her collaborators raised $4,043.06 for the victims of sex trafficking and the Eden Ministry.
“But the fight doesn’t end here,” Tie said, adding that There are still victims to save, women to help and ministries to support.