Nomi Network: Economic Opportunities for Survivors of Slavery

Category: Impact-First, charity

Area of work/impact: human trafficking

How to engage: shop or donate

Freedom, healing, community, opportunity - these are the things women and children need to escape sexual slavery. And that's just what Nomi Network seeks to provide.

We've met some incredible organizations fighting for freedom and healing. Today we share one of our favorites: Nomi is a nonprofit with an earned-revenue model that creates economic opportunities for survivors and women at risk of human trafficking.

Benefitting from the extensive business and fashion experience of the leadership team, Nomi is building a sustainable global supply chain to increase the financial independence of vulnerable and at-risk women.

They provide targeted technical and entrepreneurship training, designing and producing market-ready products, and linking products made by these women to the global marketplace. Nomi has employed and trained over 500 women. With the launch of their Advanced Technical Training Fashion Incubator in Cambodia and their Production and Innovation Center in India, they are poised to serve thousands more.

The Programs

Nomi's basic curriculum teaches survivors and women at risk not only sewing and manufacturing skills, but basic literacy, mathematics, financial planning, and micro-finance so that they become a work-force with agency. The women become a community that creates accountability and breaks down caste and religious barriers that are often used to keep them siloed and oppressed.

Second, higher up the supply chain, their advanced curriculum equips NGOs with production capacity that serve vulnerable populations with key skills like produce pricing, trend forecasting, and product development, etc. This strengthens their business and makes them more sustainable.  

Third, at the top of the supply chain, they work with socially conscious retailers by making their high quality products. Nomi gets the benefit of their distribution channels which create employment opportunities for the most vulnerable; retailers get access to transparent labor forces.

The Founders

It’s hard to believe that modern day slavery exists. It’s even harder to believe there are 32 Million slaves and that the human trafficking industry is a $99 Billion industry. In the words of co-founder, Diana Mao, "Stats of human trafficking were truly meaningless to me until I witnessed the horrors of sex trafficking first hand. In 2007 I travelled to Cambodia for a micro-finance research fellowship and it was there that my eyes were opened to this unbelievable world. After that experience, human trafficking stats are not only meaningful; they are the inspiration and reason for Nomi Network." Their founders don't just have the heart it takes to persevere, but the resumes to be successful (they're just too long to post here. read more here)

The Opportunity

Get involved or learn more at their website http://nominetwork.org/ or shop their fabulous projects at http://www.buyherbagnotherbody.com/