You may think slavery is no longer an issue in today’s world. But according to the Nation Human Trafficking Research Center, that is far from the facts.
Despite slavery being illegal in every country, 27 million people are believed to be currently enslaved – far more than ever before in human history.
Jewish Women’s Foundation (JWF) of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County is now able to continue its efforts to help women and girls everywhere who are affected by this terrible trade.
A recent donation of one million dollars – given by an anonymous donor – will expand the reach of JWF’s vital work and continue advocating on behalf of women and girls everywhere for years to come.
“I hope many other women will follow in this generous woman’s footsteps and stand up to invest in women and girls, who are so underserved and who face specific challenges that are not being sufficiently addressed,” said Tami Baldinger, JWF Executive Director.
“JWF offers donors an opportunity to fund innovative projects that create social change,” Baldinger added. “I am thrilled to partner with such a visionary woman, who told me she is excited to have a voice and make a real difference in the lives of women and children.”
“We all know that investing in women and girls will improve the world,” said Eileen Berman, the founding chair of JWF. “We also know that women now give over half of all philanthropic dollars raised, yet less than five percent of that money actually funds issues that are specifically affecting women and girls.”
With the 2013-14 grant cycle complete, JWF Trustees recently voted to award $90,000 in grants to organizations devoted to elevating the status of women and girls through advocacy, education and legislation to create social change.
The grant awards fund innovative projects in the areas of economic empowerment, health and safety, and leadership for women and girls locally, in Israel and around the world. JWF will soon be awarding an additional local grant of $15,000 to stop domestic sex-trafficking.
“JWF looks forward to continuing our work on this issue and other important issues facing women and girls,” said Paula Lustbader, JWF advocacy chair. JWF will begin the 2014-15 grant cycle with a request for proposals in July.
In January, JWF co-sponsored a county-wide “Out of Bondage” symposium on domestic sex-trafficking. 400 people attended and created a coalition of community organizations working towards ending sex-trafficking. At the event, JWF and over 20 other organizations took steps toward combating domestic sex-trafficking with a petition calling for new legislation to address the problem.
Trustees believe that giving a voice to women and girls who have no voice and empowering women and girls to be safe and successful will strengthen our families and communities and create a more just society.
“JWF is focusing our advocacy efforts and our funding to stop the sale of women and children as sex slaves,” said Lustbader. “JWF works to help the most vulnerable people in our world and we cannot stand by and allow this horrific modern day slavery to continue.”