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April 22, 2011

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April 22, 2011

Nivasa Foundation helps stop human trafficking and seeks to end the cycle of slavery, one child at a time. Nivasa is a mighty little non-profit run by a mighty and wonderful woman, Beatrice Fernando. Beatrice has a heart for women who are caught in the cycle of poverty, human trafficking and slavery and she works tirelessly so that Nivasa can help as many families as possible on a shoe string budget.

Beatrice was once a victim of human trafficking in Lebanon. She survived the beatings and abuse by jumping off her captor's 4th floor balcony. Miraculously, she made back to her home in Sri Lanka and eventually came to America, but she did not stop there. Because other women in Sri Lanka continue to have trafficking and slavery horror stories like hers, many not surviving their ordeal, Beatrice began the non-profit Nivasa Foundation from her new home in Massachusetts. Nivasa serves to educate people at home and abroad about human trafficking and provides financial assistance to slavery survivors in Sri Lanka to enable them to stay home with their children and avoid the continuous dangers of trafficking and slavery. The Sponsor a Child program enables women to meet the basic education and welfare needs of their children so that they can stay home, conduct a modest home business if possible to supplement their income and not seek overseas employment which often leads to slavery and abuse.

It is a huge task. Nivasa needs more volunteers, more publicity, more sponsors and donors, and more people who would have Beatrice come as a guest speaker and eloquently and passionately describe her own experience while also seeking support for the countless other women who are trapped as she once was in the cycle of poverty and slavery.

The Nivasa Foundation is unique, it is committed to helping the voiceless, the women and children who have no means of support, no government assistance, no way to even pay for school uniforms or bus transportation. Nivasa has given hope and assistance to many families who only want to raise their children and provide education and nutrition so they can walk away from poverty and have a future.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have received lovely letters and photos from the child that I sponsor. I have read the reports from Nivasa's auditors and have first hand contact with them, so I know that Nivasa gives 100% of the sponsored money to the families and runs on a shoe string budget. There are no salaries, it is all volunteer run. We have held many fundraisers and many public speaking engagements from churches to colleges to public high schools.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More volunteers are needed to run events and have Beatrice come speak at a church, school, college, or other venue (she is adept at speaking to any age level, always holding everyone's rapt attention. It is difficult to not be moved when hearing Beatrice speak as she has the personal experience, the knowledge and a gift at touching people's hearts). Nivasa needs help with publicity (i.e.: for an upcoming play about human trafficking which is sure to be a very moving experience), college students, anyone.

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