Empowerment not Handouts: An Inspiring Interview with Free to Shine Founder Nicky Mih

Nicky Mih’s dream is to eradicate sex trafficking.

But that dream surprisingly doesn’t start with rescuing victims. It starts well before that point, through educating vulnerable girls and their families. This is something that Nicky found out through visiting and speaking with 200 girls in Cambodia who had been rescued, and soon learned no one was filling this need for prevention through education.

The girls told her that many of them had dropped out of school at a very young age to help provide for their families. These families could barely put food on the table, let alone pay for schoolbooks and uniforms.

So in 2010, Nicky founded Free to Shine to help both the girls and their families. Free to Shine’s motto and mission is to keep girls in school and away from brothels.

Free to Shine believes that girls should be in schools, not brothels.

Free to Shine provides educational tools and resources for at-risk youth.

Free to Shine identifies vulnerable families who do not have adequate food, water and shelter, and might be susceptible to trafficker’s offering ‘jobs’ to their daughters. The organization then provides educational tools like uniforms, books and bikes to keep the girls in school, in addition to giving them resources like water filters and seeds to grow their own gardens.

Free to Shine has 18 Cambodian education outreach officers, and pays special attention to local issues and local solutions surrounding them.

To date, Nicky and her team has helped empower more than 700 girls and their families throughout 44 villages in Cambodia. And much of that support would not be possible if not for B1G1 businesses.

Consider supporting this project today and making a massive impact for these girls and their families tomorrow.

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About Tracy Oppenheimer

Tracy joined B1G1 at the beginning of 2016 to oversee creative content, and produce videos to showcase the amazing things B1G1 & its partners are doing. She shoots and edits, but is first and foremost a storyteller. So she'll also be writing, handling social media, and making it impossible for you not to want to get more involved!

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