At the heart of FreeRoots we believe that Human trafficking is modern day slavery and is a violation of basic human rights. Human Trafficking robs people of their most basic human right...freedom.
In the United States, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines “Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons” as: Sex Trafficking: the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act, in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person forced to perform such an act is under the age of 18 years.
Through common experiences in mission work globally we began to see that Human Trafficking was not only thriving in developing countries but in the United States. It was shocking to discover that our very own Houston, Texas currently has the highest rate of trafficking in the United States.
The truth is that there are numerous organizations who are fighting this injustice. They do an amazing job at rescuing victims and bringing traffickers to justice. There are other organizations who do amazing rehab and counselling work with the victims. Yet results show that many victims are taken back into sex work and re-victimized either by force or desperation. The gap is obvious, there are not enough legitimate skill training programs to equip victims to live independently and support themselves.
As a response to this need FreeRoots began in the summer of 2014. Our focus is the restoration of dignity and life purpose in those affected by sex trafficking by training them in the discipline of hairstyling. Our mission is to walk along side these individuals as a community, and to ensure that they are successful in building the skills necessary to live their lives with purpose and freedom.
As an organization we believe in being difference makers both locally and globally. To achieve this our current work is focused in Houston, Texas and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We also believe that to accomplish our mission we must join together with other organizations and individuals with the same passion and focus.
Our Houston work is centered on girls who are rescued from sex trafficking and extremely abusive situations. We currently partner with Freedom Place, a non-profit organization that houses underage rescued girls. FreeRoots role is to lead girls through an intentional curriculum based on inspirational sessions with an emphasis on mentoring and personal development.
Our Cambodia partnership is with Open Arms Cambodia. Open Arms is a salon and beauty school that trains young girls who are also rescued from sex trafficking. FreeRoots role is to carry out advanced training in hairstyling and business building techniques. We also work with the Open Arms team in their outreach center called Alabaster. Alabaster is located in the heart of the red light district of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We are involved in the childrens outreach program that works with the children of local sex workers, we assist with salon services on kids and outreach to sex workers.
As we grow and expand we truly believe there will be a measurable effect. We collectively believe that if one person is restored our time will have been well spent.