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Doing our part in the World

Nothing brings us more joy than being able to do our part in making this a better world! We want to help create a better world for the next generations.

Whirl-a-Style has been involved in a number of community outreach projects.  Our newest venture involves support in the country of Laos. We are helping women who have been victims of sex trafficking.  We help to restructure their lives, so they will get out and begin to re-build their lives.  We are honored to work with these women and the non-profit organization that has resolved to help them find another way.  We are also grateful to Swee-keng of the US Consulate in Hong Kong who has introduced us to their needs and asked for our support.

Whirl-a-Style actively helps to provide beauty education and hairstyling products for women who have been saved from the sex trade, so they have an economic means with which to sustain themselves.  We are eager to share those success stories as they unfold.

First, we wanted to share with you a little of what we have learned about the sex trade business.  If we are going to make a difference and provide hope, we need to know the facts.  So here is some information about the work of AFESIP LAO PDR, a French non-profit organization whose mission is to combat sex trafficking.  Below is an excerpt from their website:



Lao PDR Human Trafficking Route Map, 2008

Rapidly overtaking the trafficking of drugs and arms as the chosen market for organized crime in South East Asia, the trafficking of human beings has now become the third most profitable criminal industry.

Every year, according to UNICEF statistics, over one million young children and women are sold into sexual slavery and they are exposed to physical violence, abuse, rape and conditions of extreme physical and psychological cruelty. Protected by corrupt officials and an indifferent public, the phenomenon is growing larger every day.

This element of organized crime has been encouraged by globalization and the inability to reduce poverty in developing countries.

The situation of Southeast Asia, particularly the Mekong sub-region, is especially sensitive, characterized by a fast political and economic evolution and by profound social change. Additionally, law enforcement is largely ineffective; there are few specialized judges and resources are limited in police and immigration departments.

The Problem In Laos

Lao children and teenagers, living in one of the poorest countries in the world and the poorest in Southeast Asia, are particularly vulnerable to the false promises of traffickers. By accepting offers of potential high earnings, they could not only support themselves, but their entire family or village.

The key contributor to the situation of poverty and vulnerability that affects women in Laos is the lack of access to production resources.

Work conditions in garment factories, the most common source of employment for Lao women, are so poor that workers are increasingly attracted by the 'easy money' promoted by prostitution. According to the AFESIP Laos 2007 Outreach Database, over 30 per cent of young women in prostitution previously worked in the garment industry.

Economical empowerment of women through alternative production resources is fundamental to promote sustainable independence.

How AFESIP Helps

AFESIP helps fight the situation in Laos in a number of ways; from outreach work with service women in bars, brothels and entertainment venues to victim rehabilitation, legal intervention, social enterprise-based job training and placement to community reintegration and follow-up. AFESIP is the only organization in Laos providing this type of support for victims, making our role in the fight against human trafficking for sexual exploitation a very important one.

AFESIP also works closely with other organizations in Laos and regionally on advocacy campaigns against the commercial exploitation of children (CSEC) and human trafficking. They are fighting together in the battle against this horrific crime.

Our goal here at Whirl-a-Style is to provide an economic tool whereby Lao women who have been victims of sex trafficking can gain independence and self-acceptance.  We will do so by providing beauty education to Lao women associated with AFESIP.

For more information on the work of AFESIP, visit their website:  www.afesiplaos.org