In 2007 Diana Mao traveled to Cambodia for a micro-finance research fellowship and met young girls that were exploited and were vulnerable to sex-trafficking. The stories of the girls compelled her to want to take action. Shortly after she returned to New York City, Diana met Alissa Moore, who had recently returned from a social justice conference where she learned about human trafficking for the first time. Together they took a trip to Cambodia to explore ways they could develop products that would create job opportunities for women at risk and survivors of human trafficking. Nomi Network began with a simple embrace. Alissa Moore and Diana Mao visited a rehabilitation center for sexually abused and trafficked Cambodian children. They were welcomed by a special young girl named Nomi who smiled and threw her arms around them, befriending them immediately. Nomi is mentally disabled and her advocates at the shelter believe that the abuse she endured worsened her mental state. Nomi’s story inspired the creation of Nomi Network and the mission to aid vulnerable girls like her by providing the resources they need to access economic stability and transform their dark pasts into brighter futures.
Nomi Network hopes to empower survivors and those at risk with the voice to say, "Know me, know my story, know my success™."Upon returning from Cambodia, Diana was introduced to Supei Liu, an experienced Product Developer who had a similar vision to benefit women in impovershed communities through product creation. Supei joined Nomi Network enabling them to launch their pilot program Cambodia in 2009. Nomi Network has since blossomed into a passionate network of volunteers, partner organizations and activists who are involved with design, development, and distribution for the organization. The Method:Nomi Network focuses on increasing the financial independence of women who are vulnerable to trafficking. They use a three-fold strategy:
Improve the design and quality of the products they produce;
Use modern marketing techniques to increase their access to the marketplace; and
Increase their partner's capacity to hire more women at risk and survivors of human trafficking.
Their goal is to increase capacity for employers to provide living wages to populations women at-risk and survivors of human trafficking. In 2009-2010, they expanded their partner's to expand their workforce from 23 to 80 employees. They also partner with retailers and encourage consumers to purchase products made by women at risk or survivor's products. Nomi Network focuses on increasing the financial independence of women and they:
Develop High Quality, Fashionable Products.
Increase capacity for employers to provide living wages to populations women at risk and survivors of human trafficking.
Partner with retailers and encourage consumers to increase demand for their products.
Developing Products and Talent:
They understand market trends to create high quality products with significant value added.
They connect women at-risk and survivors of human trafficking to design talent and provide marketing insight to create fashionable products that are relevant to a global audience.
They invest product profits into education for at risk women to provide them with marketable skills and to propagate Nomi Network's efforts in training the women in leadership and sharing their skills with their communities.
They secure employment for these women with fair working conditions and wages. They assist social enterprise employers in increasing their capacity.
Raising Awareness, Increasing Demand
They establish partnerships with recognized retailers and designers to distribute products.
About King Kulture: Stop The Traffic:
Our next compilation, 'Rapzilla.com Presents... King Kulture: Stop The Traffic' is focused on aiding organizations fighting human trafficking. Album proceeds will benefit a great organization based in, and focused on NYC, called NYCUP (New York City Urban Project). We'll be providing you more ways that you can help get the word out soon! Album is set to release August 27th 2013.
Pre-order the album on iTunes. Limited and exclusive hardcopy pre-order packages are available from the Rapzilla Official Online Store now.