Focused on the Prevention of Human Trafficking,
Early Marriage & Gender Violence

by Lydia Dean, Co-Founder

When we realized just how far a relatively small amount of funding went towards giving people access to their basic human rights, we were determined to do more.

GoPhil is passionate about a lot of things — but joining the fight for human rights has been at the forefront of our efforts since our earliest days. In our first year we made commitments to eight small NGOs working on a range of global issues…children in need of care and protection in shelters, sponsorships programs, and clean water projects. We also had the pleasure of underwriting the anti-child labor program in rural India and the rescue of girls from female circumcision in Kenya. When we realized just how far a relatively small amount of funding went towards giving people access to their basic human rights, we were dead set on doing more.

Since then, we have carefully and consistently expanded our network with a growing number of small yet innovative NGOs facing some of the most challenging human rights issues of our time – human trafficking, gender violence and early marriage.

What we have learned is that many abuses to human rights take place in impoverished areas within ethnic minority or marginalized communities lacking knowledge of their legal rights. Our goal is to continue to locate and further empower the bold change-makers and organizations who are making systemic change in extremely challenging conditions.

We decided to set the bar high this year! Our Fight for Human Rights Campaign goal is to raise $100k for our partners making an impact in human rights work. The good news, we are already about half way there! But we still have a ways to go…


snapshot of our current work in the Human Rights arena

Preventing and Rescuing Children from Trafficking

In Nepal we have recently partnered with Child Rescue Nepal (CRN) who since 1999 have been, rescuing trafficked children, caring for them, educating them and safely re-integrating the children with their families. They have so far rescued and rehabilitated over 600 children, mostly from child labor in India and Nepal— they have put 18 traffickers in jail. Once rescued, children are cared for in their Transit Home in Kathmandu Valley during which time they are assessed, counseled, educated and their families are traced. In most cases, the children are able to be reunited with their families and CRN provides these families with post-integration financial and psychosocial support. When it is not possible or safe  to reintegrate the children back into their families, they are moved to one of their longer term shelter homes, with a maximum of 10 children per home, and cared for in a family-like environment whilst they attend local schools.

We have also partnered with Blue Dragon – one of the most well-known organizations in Vietnam with a great reputation for their work with street children and rescuing victims of trafficking. Blue Dragon works with young people by rescuing them from trafficked situations, giving them safe space to live and learn, education and skills support, rehabilitation, advocacy to get justice, and work with policy makers and enforcers to create a safer country for those at risk. In addition, they run a daily drop in center for street children to come together in a safe space for support and their basic needs.

We’ve recently made our first grant to Blue Dragon which will be applied towards a three day life skills workshop in July 2017 to teach vital skills otherwise not covered by their standard education curriculum. These skills and intent of the workshop include, financial literacy, sexual health, and career preparation

Preventing Gender Violence in the slums of Delhi

Violence against women remains a critical issue in India and requires concerted effort at individual, community and policy levels to bring about change. Since 2015 we have been working in collaboration with Shakti Shalini – a small NGO that works to address gender violence from multiple directions, covering both response and prevention mechanisms and helping women who have been victims of gender violence. Victims of violence are provided with a shelter for boarding, legal, medical and economic support, and counseling at their Crisis Intervention and Counseling Centre. Shakti Shalini aims to prevent further violence in society through their Community Outreach Programs and a very innovative Skills Development Program that organizes awareness camps and skill development trainings for adults and remedial education for children.

GoPhilanthropic’s support to Shakti Shalini has been multi-faceted:

  • Support to build the capacity of the administrative and accounting functions so that they can run their programs more efficiently and effectively;
  • Funding the salary of a new administrator who is responsible for putting in place essential HR and administrative procedures;
  • Organizational development support, including guidance on fundraising, developing program budgets and measuring impact;
  • Funding the expansion of their Skills Development Program so they can reach more people and communities

Saying NO to Early Marriage

India accounts for 40% of the world’s 60 million child marriages, with 43% of women in India aged 20-24 married before the age of 18. In Rajasthan, a shocking 57.6% of women were married as a child. GoPhil is partnering with Vikalp Sansthan, and NGO established in 2004 who work with youth and adolescents in nine districts of Rajasthan to address gender-based violence and end child marriage. Vikalp partners with local governments, state officials, NGOs and law enforcement agencies to create conditions that will finally put a stop to child marriage in the state.

Vikalp Sansthan has developed a Youth Task Force responsible for reporting child marriages in their villages, counseling community members against child marriage and organizing awareness raising activities. Vikalp Sansthan also has a strong focus on increasing access to education for girls (when the education of girls increases, child marriages decreases), working directly with parents to encourage them to keep their daughters in school.

These are just a few examples of where funding is applied within our Fight for Human Rights Campaign. There is so much progress being made, yet so much more to be done. We need all the help we can get to raise funds and awareness for the tireless work our partners.

To make a donation to the Fight for Human Rights Campaign, click here.

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GoPhil will be guiding two journeys in early 2018 to SE Asia (January) and India (March), with a focus on engagement with our partner programs working in human rights.

Visit GoPhil Travel


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