THE RED BAG PROJECT
Meeting Tangible Needs
The vision behind “The Red Bag Project” comes from my time in my early twenties when I didn’t have a place to call home. I spent several months off and on couch hopping, and stuck in a broken self abusive cycle. However, throughout this time, I had one red rolling bag that carried my belongings. That bag became a sense of comfort and home to me during this time period. It has become a symbol of remembering what God has brought me through and where he has called me for my purpose.
After learning about human trafficking in 2013, and the vile sexual exploitation of individuals, my heart burned to make a difference and bring more awareness to such an atrocity. Since 2015, I have been serving in organizations to help combat modern day slavery and educate individuals about this global social injustice. After five years, my heart has been burdened for providing immediate tangible needs for survivors. Through the support of community members and the network of organizations, I am able to begin this Red Bag Project with Nissi.
I want each person that comes out of abuse to experience immediate awakening in their soul to breathe, rediscover their worth and start healing and dreaming. Many of the victims have little to no belongings, and if any, it’s carried in trash bags. This “red bag” will represent hope and new beginnings. My red bag is so special to me, and I have high hopes that these bags will become a token of hope and restore dignity to so many who need it. I am beyond excited to see what God will do through this special project! If you are interested in learning more about RBP please contact us at email@example.com
-Genna Sterling-Barlow, Founder RBP Supporting NISSI
A Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative for the Salon and Spa Industry.
As a Hairstylist and small business owner, personal connection is how my business thrives. Beyond Beauty takes the personal connection with our clients and adds a protection plan to our business. The Salon and Spa industry is highly utilized by traffickers in the United States. Did you know salons and spas were the number one location for human trafficking in 2018? The shocking truth is more victims sit in our chairs and receive our services than we realize. Why do we not notice? Beyond Beauty will help equip you with the right information, awareness resources, and steps to protect your clients and your chair. Sign up for a FREE informative training at firstname.lastname@example.org and seal your door with Beyond Beauty by NISSI.
Kelsey Hill, Founder of Beyond Beauty by Nissi
SHORT-TERM, IMMEDIATE CARE HOME PROGRAM
What happens to a survivor when they are rescued from their trafficking experience?
Typically a survivor is verified as a human trafficking victim through an enocunter with a search and rescue team, law enforcement, or a medical professional. Once identified, there are some immediate resources, but not many and none that are sustainable. They may be given a hotel voucher for a few nights (which could possibly trigger an experience that they had). If a bed is identified, typically it is the closest, available bed, and not always the right environment, program, or situation for the individual. Thus, limiting the probability the individual will complete the program.
Through analyzing this gap, we have discovered the following needs upon recovery that we believe should be addressed immediately:
How is the survivor’s immediate medical needs identified and addressed?
Where can the survivor go to sleep and relax to gain clarity and composure that is not a hotel, and is a safe, clean space for them?
Who is advocating on the survivor’s behalf with the families, law enforcement or the state to best identify the right aftercare service for them?
Who is making contacts with aftercare services around the county trying to identify available beds, in the right environment that would meet their individuals needs?
If the survivor does not meet the standards for an aftercare service due to substance use, where can they go to detox in a safe environment so they can eventually meet the qualifications?
How does the survivor actually get to the aftercare service?
From these questions came NISSI’S programming structure of the services we as an organization would like to address in order to move the needle of success for the survivor in the restoration process.
Rescue – The time a victim is discovered and pulled from their trafficking experience by search and rescue operations, law enforcement, social services, healthcare providers, etc. The question is then asked, “Where do they go?”
Respite – a short-term, immediate care facility for verified human trafficking victims to receive immediate medical assistance, detox treatment, survivor mentorship, case advocacy and aftercare planning, and transportation to the aftercare provider. Typically, 1-7-day service.
Restoration – aftercare service programs (safe houses, group homes, etc.) for victims to find healing and begin to rebuild their lives. Typically, 5 months – 2-year programs.
Reintegration – services that work with business communities and services partners to help survivors obtain continued education, skill training, job searching, affordable housing, etc. Programs to wrap our communities and services around the survivors to give them a helping hand after all the hard work they dedicated in obtaining restoration. NISSI would like to further our role in support of this initiative as well when appropriate.
What is NISSI’s solution?
Nissi Worldwide will stand in the gap and provide a place that can be activated when needed and operate 24 hours. It will serve as an immediate care option for HT (human trafficked) verified or CSEC (commercial sexual exploitation of a child) children from the time they are rescued to the time they are ready to arrive at an aftercare facility. We are excited to be opening our first short-term, immediate care home at a non-disclosed location in the Pensacola, Florida area in 2021! God is so good, and is providing avenues for survivors (His children) to find complete rest and restoration in Him. We are humbled and honored to serve God in this capacity of meeting people where they are at, and loving them like Jesus taught us to love. If you would like to know more about this program or would like to partner with us, please reach out to us at email@example.com .
NETWORK OF SURVIVORS
Be a Voice
Here at Nissi we believe survivor advocacy is the key to the services we offer to assist victims of trafficking and exploitation find full restoration. We are so excited to have Virgen Heuer on our team leading survivor advocacy internationally. We are so excited to share more with you in the future as this program continues to evolve. For more information about our Survivor Network, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
YEAR IN REVIEW