Welcome to the Rotary Club To End Human Trafficking

 
Are you an established professional who wants to make positive changes in your community and the world?  Our club members are dedicated people who share a passion for ending human trafficking / modern slavery.  Becoming a Rotarian connects you with a diverse group who share your drive to give back.
Dear Rotarians,
Dear Rotarians,
 
Thank you for all your support, effort, and love for Rotary.  Every Rotary member makes a huge
difference in the club's success to reach new levels. 
When evaluating all that transpired over the last few months, how far our club has come, and how
Our club has managed to and will have to manage to stay on course.  I feel that, as Rotarians, we are
all called upon, as stated in our theme for this year, to “create hope in the world.”
 
You may ask yourself, “But how am I, in (fill in country name), going to achieve this?” One significant
way is to join a club like the Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking, a completely online club whose
Membership spans the globe. We can’t always be in the same place at the same time, but our club
Members adhere to the 4 priorities set forth by Rotary International:
 
1: As Rotarians, we must increase our impact.
People of action are effective problem-solvers. Why do Rotarians achieve so much? We invest in
relationships. We make decisions grounded in evidence. We know how to mobilize our networks to
create solutions that last. And we’re always learning from our experiences in projects, clubs, and
careers.
 
2: As Rotarians, we must expand our reach.
People of action activate and inspire others, giving them hope that the world can change for the
better—and that they can be part of that change. We know there are many people seeking both a
greater sense of purpose and the kind of person-to-person involvement the digital realm can’t
provide. We have what it takes to be their first choice.
 
3: As Rotarians, let’s enhance participation.
People of action strive to understand the needs of others. Rotary is a great organization because
We create meaningful relationships across decades and continents. But just like the people and
communities we serve; our participants need to feel seen and heard.
 
4: As Rotarians, we must increase our ability to adapt.
People of action are inventive, entrepreneurial, and resilient. We know what we stand for and why
it matters. We are driven by a sense of optimism—a belief that we are and will continue to be
essential to our communities, to the world, and to humanity.
Over the last year, our club has welcomed new members that have jumped in with both feet, helping
in so many ways. I truly appreciate the enthusiasm of all of our members, especially when it comes
to our fundraising and participation in our events. Each one of us brings our unique talents to the
table, please don’t hesitate to be involved and join a committee that interests you. Rotarians are
people of action, connecting the world. In my experience, the level of local and global networking
and mentorship is limitless. Wherever you travel, look for the Rotary logo and you will know you
have a friend in that town. If you are interested in serving our global community, please consider
joining our Rotary club.
 
 
Yours in Rotary,
Lisa Podolny
President 2023-2024
Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking
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Happy New Year!
 
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that 2024 is off to a good start.  Please join us on Monday, January, 22, 2024 at 7:00 pm ET for a great presentation by Cindee Sapoznik, founder and CEO of 2myplace; a non-profit focused on coaching teens based in Atlanta, GA. Cindee will present on the organization's work with teens impacted by human trafficking.  Her important work has helped many teens and the presentation is sure to be informative and fascinating.
 
Time: Jan 22, 2024 at 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87823784263?pwd=qw03YqM9QgVsJnR6XFXx3ihfaJuYpd.1

Meeting ID: 878 2378 4263
Passcode: 226401
 
In this role, Cindee teaches young adults the necessary life skills to become successful adults.  Cindee provides the tools of confidence, stress and anxiety management, communication and social media boundaries. She is committed to engaging young adults to focus on individual strengths, self-esteem and a clear path for their future. 2myPlace also offers business ethics including LinkedIn, resume building and interviewing skills. The goal is to give teens and young adults the guidance they need for successful communication.

Cindee’s previous roles have included volunteering at The Drake House, Every Woman Works, Wellspring Living, The City of Refuge, Fulton Community Charity, Roswell United Methodist Church Job Networking and The Hired Authority. She is a member of the Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking and sings in a Broadway chorus while visiting Assisted Living and Memory Care Centers in her spare time.

She lives in Roswell (GA) with her husband, Alberto and their two rescue boxers. She is the proud mom to two grown, fabulous sons, Eric and Brett. Her greatest happiness comes from helping others and bringing laughter and peace into our world.
 
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Dear Rotarians,

In this season of thanks, I am grateful to have an opportunity on behalf of the Board to say thank
you to all of you – our members – who contribute to our efforts through our committees, programs
and projects, mentoring our branches, and attendance at events. We are so fortunate to work with
you to advance our shared goal of bringing people together to create lasting and positive change in
ourselves, in our communities, and across the globe.
Can you believe we are already six months into the Rotary year? It’s incredible what we have
accomplished so far, and I look forward to seeing where 2024 takes us. Here is a brief recap of
just some of what the club has accomplished in the first six months:
 Approved and moved forward with the set-up of the RCEHT West Africa Branch, which
meets in Ghana;
 Developing the RCEHT East Africa Branch, which will meet in South Sudan;
 Added a total of thirteen new full members and four new associate members;
 Developed the RCEHT Economic Development Program, currently in its Phase 1 Overview
process;
 Approved two new endorsee organizations: Her Future Coalition and Lift the Vulnerable;
 Approved and funded a grant to support the Stop Human Trafficking Lending Library in
Chiangmai, Thailand;
 Stood up a PR committee and engaged with RCEHT member organizations to share our
club’s information in physical locations, such as at our District (5950) conference;
 Fundraised over $5,000 for our newly established RCEHT Foundation; and,
 Reviewed and updated our grant application process, membership engagement policy, and
scholarship process.
Thank you for your time and generosity over the last six months and your impact on our
local and global communities. I know our efforts and impact will only increase as we
move into the latter half of our Year of Action. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday season, no matter
the specific holiday you celebrate. See you in 2024!
Yours in Rotary,
 
Lisa Podonly
Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking President, 2023-2024
 
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(NewsNation) — Human trafficking and transnational crime transcend borders, constituting what the United Nations describes as “a crisis within a crisis.”

Humanitarian issues are worsening amid Russia’s war in Ukraine, leading to problems with human and weapons trafficking. The U.N. notes that the majority of refugees, primarily women and children, fleeing the war are now facing exploitation. 

Jim Fuda, vice chairman of Crime Stoppers Global Solutions, said the organization introduced the anonymous tip app through a crime stoppers program in Seattle in November 2017. He highlights that it observed an overnight quadrupling of tips and more than doubled arrests. This success prompted Fuda to create the TCI Tips App and implement a similar program abroad. 

“We picked human trafficking, terrorism, illicit trade, arms dealing, drug smuggling, cybercrime and bank fraud — brought it to Serbia,” Fuda said. “Took two years to build the trusted relationships … here in Seattle in February 2020, to learn the operational side of things, and then COVID hit. So, we’ve been back reestablishing those connections.”https://www.newsnationnow.com/crime/fbi-finds-200-sex-trafficking-victims-including-59-missing-kids/
 
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The international Rotary theme for 2023-2024 is "Create Hope in the World". The Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking helps to provide hope in our communities around the world through our commitment to “Service Above Self.” We welcome all individuals who are committed to making a difference in the world and the betterment of their community.
 
The Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking was formed for good reasons -- fellowship, networking and participation in community service projects. Members join together with passion and dedication to sponsor events, speak about the cause, make new friends and create business relationships. In addition to the typical findings: Programs and Projects, Membership, Public Relations, etc.  We have many committees that address such areas as creating Economic Development and new Rotary branches in underserved areas where human trafficking is prevalent.
 
Rotary is not just a club that you join; it is an invitation to endless opportunities. We believe in creating opportunities for others and for ourselves. We believe that our acts of service, large and small, generate opportunities for people who need our help, and that Rotary opens opportunities for us to live a richer, more meaningful life, with friends around the world, based on our core values.
 
In line with our “Year of Action,” this month’s President’s letter is focused on encouraging you to become involved in our club. There are many ways to share the resources and talents that you as an individual bring to our club. Join a committee if you have not already done so. If you are undecided what direction to devote your energy, write to me at president@endhtrotaryclub.org. There are many opportunities for service.

As of today, we are already one third of the way into the Rotary year, and it will fly by in a flash. It is essential for new and more experienced members alike to focus on the real things our club does and dedicate ourselves to the tasks at hand. That is why I am asking you now to participate in whatever way suits you best so that we can proceed with all due diligence to meet the challenges that await.

We have a wonderful club with a proud history of many great accomplishments. We are gifted with many resources and opportunities to be of service. It is an honor and a privilege to be a member of Rotary, and I want to thank you all for accepting the responsibilities that go with being a leader in our community. Let us make the most of what we are to do the best we can.
 
Yours in Rotary,
 
Lisa Podonly
Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking President, 2023-2024
 
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One of our Strategic Plan objectives is to encourage and support economic stability in areas that are at high risk for human trafficking. One of our endorsed organizations, Her Future Coalition (HFC), does exactly that via their jewelry program. HFC purchases then resells jewelry made by at-risk women then uses the earnings to repeat the process. This supports the jewelry business of trafficking survivors as well as at-risk girls and women in India and Nepal. Metalsmithing and jewelry design is one of the many options that falls within HFC’s job training program:

“Vocational Training, combined with life skills and financial literacy training, give women a pathway to become financially independent and less vulnerable to being exploited. They gain the power and agency to make choices for their own lives – often for the first time in their lives. Economic independence enables women to overcome stigma, move out of shelters, and support themselves and their children, breaking the cycle of poverty and intergenerational trafficking” – Taken from the HFC website

Are you interested in sporting trafficking survivors?

Are you interested in supporting businesses that keep women and girls from being trafficked in the first place?

Are you interested in a potential fundraiser for your club or group?

Then consider initiating this project in your community. Jewelry can be purchased through Her Future Coalition then resold by a club at a gala or other existing event. Rotary clubs are given a 20% discount off of the labeled price making this a potential fundraiser for the club as well as a wonderful way to support at risk girls and women.

Ready to place your order? SHOP HERE and use ROTARY20 for 20% off during check out. If you want more information, contact Rotarian Robin Singer at msrobinsinger@gmail.com.

The HFC jewelry program has been operating for more than a decade and keeps girls free from being trafficked or re-trafficked in red light and high-risk areas.

Take this step and make a positive difference.

Over the years, I have come to conclude there are few things eviller than children forced into prostitution.

During my initial public health work within South Asian red-light districts, we soon discovered to our horror that some brothels offered very young girls to clients.
 
Some of them were less than 10 years old and were hidden away and lived on the upper floors in rooms protected by a reinforced door.

I felt sick to my stomach when I learned that pedophiles weren’t the only men interested in having sex with young children. There appeared to be three prominent awful myths associated with this practice that exist to this day.

1. Some believed that having sex with young girls would cure diseases such as gonorrhea or syphilis. This is obviously not true.

2. Some believed they could not catch diseases such as AIDS by having sex with someone much younger and seemingly healthy. In reality, the opposite often happened. Since these girls were undeveloped, sex with a child significantly increased their chances of becoming infected.

3. Some men thought that it would rejuvenate their virility as if the girl’s youth would be transferred to them.

For these reasons, and the high prices they could command, the brothels highly valued selling children, but only until they turned 12 years old or so, and only as long as they remained healthy.

The standard rate for sex with a ‘child virgin’ was sometimes more than half the entire price paid to buy the child.

One brothel boasted that rich middle-east businessmen were willing customers for child sex slaves, providing windfall profits for them. There was even an arrangement made that if a new child was brought in, the businessmen would fly in to spend a weekend.

Due to the legal difficulties associated with keeping child sex slaves in brothels, these girls were isolated most of the time, seldom coming in contact with others. If caught and charged by the authorities, the brothel owner could receive up to 20 years in jail.

However, when a child sex slave would be found, arrests almost never occurred. The police could demand enormous bribes for turning a blind eye. The financial burden to the brothel madam could be tremendous.

I never personally observed any of these very young children who had been forced into prostitution. Most brothel owners were careful enough to ensure that if either strangers or the police entered the building, steps would immediately be taken to hide them where they would not be found.

But on a few occasions, I observed a child’s toy like a teddy bear in a brothel room. It is still traumatic and difficult for me to fathom that a girl child could be playing with a doll one minute, and then be forced to have sex with an adult a few minutes later.

What kind of evil allows this to happen?
The Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking is a very proactive and dynamic club that is setting the standard of excellence for e-clubs around the world. As we begin the second month of the Rotary year, we are already making a huge difference in our global community.
 
Heading into the 3rd year of our Strategic Action Plan, the Club’s emphasis has pivoted from planning to Focus on Action.  This month’s Action Day centered on one of the key drivers of slavery - that is, poverty - through economic development. Socioeconomic factors can play a significant role in creating conditions that make individuals vulnerable to trafficking, such as poverty, lack of education, gender inequality, and lack of access to healthcare. With promises of good jobs or financial support, traffickers frequently lure victims to work in the sex trade or other forms of forced labor.  Lack of job opportunities and low wages can also push people to migrate in search of work, making them vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers.  Moreover, countries lacking economic opportunities may have weaker law enforcement and weaker protection systems for vulnerable populations, making it easier for traffickers to operate with impunity.  Overall, while the lack of economic development is not the sole cause of human trafficking, it is an essential contributor to the conditions that make individuals more vulnerable to exploitation. Addressing economic inequality and promoting sustainable economic development is crucial to preventing human trafficking and protecting vulnerable populations.
 
While are members are incredibly active and engaged, for us to make the greatest impact against human trafficking we need even more Rotarians to get involved to help enact programs like the Economic Development Program. We meet twice monthly on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month at 7am CST. Our PR, Fundraising, Membership, Programs and Projects, and other committees are always looking for new members and fresh ideas. Please contact us at president@endhtrotaryclub.org to get involved!
 
I truly believe we are furthering RCEHT’s Strategic Action Plan by increasing our impact, expanding our reach, enhancing participant engagement, and increasing our ability to adapt.  Our Strategic Action Plan honors our past and embraces our future. It is our path to achieving our vision of bringing even more people together to create lasting and positive change in ourselves, in our communities, and across the globe. What has not changed are the values that define Rotary: fellowship, integrity, diversity, service, and leadership. YOU are living these values.
 
Yours in Rotary,
 
 
Lisa Podonly
Rotary Club to End Human Trafficking President, 2023-2024
 
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The recent emergence of human trafficking into scam centres across Southeast Asia is a grave and multifaceted issue that intersects organized crime, technology, and the vulnerability of marginalized populations. This illicit activity involves the coerced recruitment and exploitation of individuals, often from educated backgrounds, to work in fraudulent call centres that engage in various types of scams targeting victims globally. 
  
The scam centres, typically located in countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and the Philippines, perpetrate a range of scams, including tech support, online fraud, “pig butchering,” and phishing schemes. They take advantage of the region's lower operating costs, skilled workforce, and access to technology infrastructure to carry out their operations. What makes this problem particularly troubling is the link between human trafficking and these fraudulent enterprises Victims of human trafficking into scam centres are often lured with promises of legitimate employment and better living conditions. Recruiters prey on their desire of adventure and a well-paying job, using deceit, coercion, and even violence to trap them into a life of exploitation. These victims find themselves working long hours in deplorable conditions, subject to physical and psychological abuse, and living in cramped spaces. 

 

Victims of human trafficking into scam centres are often lured with promises of legitimate employment and better living conditions. Recruiters prey on their desire of adventure and a well-paying job, using deceit, coercion, and even violence to trap them into a life of exploitation. These victims find themselves working long hours in deplorable conditions, subject to physical and psychological abuse, and living in cramped spaces.  

Every great story has a villain and a hero. We believe that the heroes of the anti-trafficking story are the survivors of sex and labor trafficking.

Shedding light on the issue of human trafficking is paramount, and while the movie Sound of Freedom aims to create awareness about trafficking, its portrayal perpetuates an oversimplified, dramatic depiction of rescue that reinforces outdated stereotypes.

As a movement, we acknowledge the significant investments that were made to bring this movie to cinemas around the world, and we welcome critical conversations about human exploitation and suffering.

There is potential for weak narratives, however, to widen the gap between general knowledge and the actual complexities of human trafficking.

We hope that Sound of Freedom acts as a starting point to initiate broader conversations about modern exploitation.

With this in mind, we have created a list of important things for viewers to consider as they process the movie’s content.

The following statements were drafted through roundtable discussions at the 2023 Asia Region Anti-Trafficking Conference, and informed by the voices of survivors and practitioners across the sector.

About Our Club
RCEHT

Ending Human Trafficking: Think Globally, Act Locally

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 7:00 AM
Online via Zoom
Eden Prairie, MN
United States of America
We meet on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month at 7:00 AM Central Time. Contact President@endHTrotaryclub.org for the meeting link.
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