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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue

       

Center for Combating Human Trafficking receives $100,000 matching grant
Anonymous donors made the gift after their initial $150,000 grant was matched in full



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Three years ago, Callie couldn’t have imagined herself a Wichita State student with an internship in the field she hopes to work in someday.

Growing up poor with drug-addicted parents, she found herself as a teenager in a foster home, then a runaway who was so vulnerable she was coerced into sex trafficking.

That’s when the Center for Combating Human Trafficking stepped in, first to assist Callie (not her real name) with the legal system, then with resources for living expenses, tuition and a part-time job at the Center helping with its mission.

“She became a vital part of the Center’s work due to the vision and commitment of our partners who donated generously to support her and other trafficking survivors through this program,” says Karen Countryman-Roswurm, the Center’s executive director.

The program she refers to is called Pathway to Prosperity, and it was the reason anonymous donors first contributed a $150,000 matching grant to the Center two years ago. This summer, CCHT celebrated the successful match of those funds, for a total of $300,000.

“We were thrilled, first of all, to have these donors’ confidence and enthusiasm for what the Center is trying to achieve,” Countryman-Roswurm says. “But then to have other generous individuals supporting us with matching dollars was equally encouraging. They are making it possible for individuals who have been victimized to recognize that they have value and worth. They are making it possible for survivors to become who they were meant to be.”

The anonymous donors were so pleased with the Center’s growth in services and programs that they recently provided another $100,000, which must be matched dollar for dollar to be fully utilized in the coming year.

Ron Matson &
Ashley Cheung
Karen Countryman-Roswurm, director of the WSU Center for Combating Human Trafficking, speaks recently at a conference for social workers and others who encounter trafficking victims in their work.

Initially, the donated funds were earmarked for Pathway to Prosperity, which is dedicated to helping trafficking victims become survivors through education and jobs. Some program participants receive tuition assistance to attend Wichita State and also work as interns, lending their unique experiences to the Center’s work.

In the past year, 15 survivors of trafficking in the Wichita area were helped through the Pathway to Prosperity program. They received legal assistance, mentoring, housing support and education. Three are being fully supported to work toward their degrees at Wichita State.

“Our work is about more than just rescuing individuals,” says Countryman-Roswurm. “We must go further and help these survivors find their path to prosperity.”

The new grant also will help fund a program called Prevention for Prosperity, which delivers awareness education to schoolchildren in the Wichita area. Demand for the service has grown as more elementary schools ask for it.

“We began this program in the middle and high schools,” says Countryman-Roswurm. “The fact that we’re now in the elementary schools shows how widespread the problem is. Even young children need to learn the signs of trafficking and what to do about it.”

In the past year, the Center has reached 1,454 Wichita-area youth through the Prevention for Prosperity program.

Also in the past year, the Center has provided training and technical assistance to 10,272 multidisciplinary professionals around the world. It has worked with statewide partners, including the Kansas attorney general, to continue developing anti-trafficking legislation and intervention.

The Center, based at Wichita State We are located on Wichita State University’s main campus in Lindquist Hall, room 208. More information about its work can be found at www.combatinghumantrafficking.org.

For more information

If you would like to learn more about supporting the Center for Combating Human Trafficking, contact Kristi Oberg, WSU Foundation senior director of development, at 316.978.7307 or kristi.oberg@wichita.edu.

Kristi Oberg