” I learned that people all over the world were standing up against slavery, putting their lives on the line to fight it, and I felt compelled to find a way to help.” – Sarah Symons
Our Founder's Story
Her Future Coalition was founded by Sarah Symons and her husband John Berger in 2005.
“I was writing and recording music for TV, and in 2002, a song I had written was used as the title song in a film which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival. At the festival, I saw a documentary about child sex trafficking between Nepal and India, I initially did not want to see the film. I thought it would be sad and depressing, and I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it . I was wrong on both counts. Although the film was deeply disturbing, it was also incredibly inspiring, in that it profiled survivors who had turned the tables.
These survivors were active in a modern day Underground Railroad, taking rescue agencies back into the brothels to save other girls. I learned that people all over the world were standing up against slavery, putting their lives on the line to fight it, and I felt compelled to find a way to help. I started by contacting one of the organizations featured in the film and was invited to visit their shelter in Kathmandu.
At the shelter, I got the idea for selling products made by survivors as a way to help them earn an income and rejoin society, and also to raise awareness of global slavery.
The organization has grown and evolved a lot over the past 16 years. We’ve added education, shelter and mental health programs, serving thousands of survivors in India, Nepal, Cambodia and Thailand.
The most exciting part of my job is seeing survivors who joined our programs as young girls now managing the programs, working as trainers and mentors to newly rescued girls, or starting their own charities or businesses. Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to co-author a book with Anjali Tamang, a young woman who I first met in 2009 and who we have been sponsoring for her high school and college education. Now Anjali is opening a school and trafficking prevention program in her village, to protect the next generation of girls in a community hard hit by trafficking and child marriage.
Many of our girls, like Anjali, are creating a bright future for themselves, and building a more just world for women and girls. Every day working with them is a miracle, for which I am deeply grateful.”
Learn more about Sarah’s journey in her TEDx Talk. Sarah has also written two books about her experiences working with slavery survivors, This Is No Ordinary Joy and Standing In The Way, both available on Amazon.