Project #219 | Work Study Program for Trafficking Survivors in the Philippines
Our Partnership with 10ThousandWindows
Even before COVID-19 hit, the Philippines was a hotspot for modern slavery and widely known as the “epicenter” of the global cybersex trafficking trade. The pandemic created the perfect storm for human trafficking survivors in the Philippines. Widespread unemployment due to economic shutdowns led to desperation among trafficking survivors. At the same time, more predators were online all around the world, ready to take advantage of the vulnerable. During the Philippines’ lockdown, cybersex trafficking cases tripled.
10ThousandWindows and One Day’s Wages worked together to deliver a COVID-19 Work-Study Program, which provided temporary, short-term internships for 75 survivors of human trafficking and exploitation who recently lost their jobs or experienced sustained unemployment because of the economic impact of the pandemic. These internships provided participants with valuable work experience and on-the-job skills training as well as a stipend. The risk of human trafficking survivors being re-exploited by cybersex trafficking and other forms of violence are very high if they are desperate to buy food, and stuck at home during a community-wide quarantine. The Work-Study Program helped survivors of human trafficking and exploitation rebuild their financial independence.
Our Collective Impact
Survivors Employed By Work-Study Program in an Internship
Survivors Received On-The-Job Training
Total People Impacted
Grace thought she was on the pathway to economic freedom after being trafficked for sex as a teenager. She finished high school and one year of college with the support of 10ThousandWindows and had just started a new job at a local bakery. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The Philippines economy contracted nearly overnight, and Grace found herself in lockdown and unemployed. Grace had to support her extended family, but there were no jobs to be found. Grace felt hopeless. She and her family members tried to make ends meet by selling food packs and snacks in their neighborhood, but it was never enough. The financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis was stressful on Grace and her entire family, and their risks of taking unsafe, exploitative work were high.
When Grace heard about the Work-Study Program, she was eager to join other survivors of trafficking and exploitation in the part-time internship program. The stipends she made a big difference for her family, allowing them to buy food and other essentials. “I am happy to be part of the Work-Study Program,” Grace says. “My family’s difficulties and needs motivate me. I cannot support my family and myself if I do not have any source of income during the pandemic. When I received my first stipend, I immediately helped my family. I am grateful for the support 10ThousandWindows has offered us.”
Thank you for making this possible!
Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.
If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to our human trafficking fund.