Women’s voices are incredibly important. And incredibly powerful. Especially for issues that are female-focused, like human trafficking. Human trafficking affects every region of the world, with over 70% of victims being women and young girls. That’s why HEINEKEN USA is proud to stand with Vital Voices and their Global Freedom Exchange (GFE) in support of women leaders at the forefront of global efforts to prevent and respond to human trafficking.
GFE was developed in 2013 to invest in the leadership potential of female advocates by providing opportunities for mentorship, strategic planning, and network building. Each year, the program convenes a select group of 15-25 emerging women leaders from around the world who have a demonstrated commitment to the anti-trafficking field, particularly child sex-trafficking issues. The two-week program spans three U.S. metropolitan areas that have unique approaches to addressing human trafficking. GFE Fellows meet with government officials and organizational leaders, learn collaborative approaches to working with allied professionals (such as local law enforcement), and provide donors with knowledge about funding needs.
Last weekend, HEINEKEN USA and Authentic Leadership Institute partnered to facilitate a “Purpose Workshop” in Washington, D.C. for the 2017 GFE Fellows. We worked with the 22 extraordinary women to sharpen their purpose-driven leadership skills. Through interactive activities, participants gained knowledge and proficiency to enact positive change in their professional development and in their respective organizations and countries.
GFE Fellows become empowered advocates in a worldwide network of anti-trafficking leaders who are creating a safer world by reducing vulnerability to trafficking, holding perpetrators accountable, and offering comprehensive service to survivors. Select GFE Fellows receive grants to implement projects that build on their efforts and the program’s mission. Past grants have supported the creation of specialized shelters for minor victims of trafficking and creative art therapy for victims of gender-based violence.
Through our partnership with Vital Voices, HEINEKEN USA joins a powerful community that is tirelessly fighting to eradicate trafficking. Investing in women is the starting point. Investing in women who invest in other women is how we believe human trafficking can end.