MyJane and International Sanctuary: A Partnership of Women
Since Hélène Blanchette, the president of MyJane, joined our women’s wellness company at the end of 2019, MyJane’s commitment to women’s empowerment has been reinforced and strengthened. Her compassionate leadership and personal conviction have led to a partnership between MyJane and International Sanctuary, a non-profit organization dedicated to lifting and empowering women who have survived human trafficking.
In episode 21 of MyJane MyStory, the MyJane podcast that shares expert insights and everyday questions about cannabis and CBD products from the MyJane community, we spoke with Wendy Dailey, the president and co-founder of International Sanctuary.
International Sanctuary operates in five regions globally, helping girls and women escaping human trafficking to receive hope, dignity and freedom. They were founded in 2007, when the words “human trafficking” were seldom used. Wendy had experienced firsthand the realities of young girls being sold, out in the open, as young as 14 years old to men old enough to be their grandfathers. Behind closed doors, Wendy says, children can be as young as 5 when they are sold.
Moved by these stories, Wendy and her business partner wanted to help. They identified that within the efforts that existed at the time to help these girls out of their situations, there was a gap in the pursuit of economic freedom. This limited the ability of survivors to rebuild their lives.
The seeds of International Sanctuary began with this concept. They partnered with a few after-care shelters to give these girls hope and provide them with an income. Wendy’s business partner at the time was self-taught in jewelry making, so they took 20 girls and began making bracelets. Over a decade later, International Sanctuary has become a social enterprise with nearly $1 million in jewelry sales, working in five regions around the world. Their focus is providing survivors with a job where they can earn an income, learn, grow and heal with dignity together within the community of the sanctuary.
Many people don’t realize that trafficking is happening domestically in America, even in Orange County, California, where MyJane’s offices are located. 17,000 people are trafficked into the United States each year from foreign countries, but American youth are trafficked as well. When asked if there are warning signs, Wendy says that the most vulnerable women to human trafficking are the girls who lack support and community, regardless of economic or social class. A girl who does not have parents or friends to ask her, “Where are you going and who are you meeting?” is more likely to be at risk.
Wendy strongly recommends that if you suspect anything strange or suspicious, you should contact the Human Trafficking Hotline. They are available 24/7, and all calls are answered by live Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates, who are highly trained and speak both English and Spanish. There are also over 200 languages available through secure translation services. The calls are confidential and anonymous.
The hotline’s phone number is 888-373-7888. If you prefer to text, send your message to 233733. They also have an online chat in English and Spanish at https://humantraffickinghotline.org/ where you can also email or fill out a contact form for less urgent requests.
The partnership with MyJane and International Sanctuary means that every MyJane box includes jewelry created by a survivor from International Sanctuary and a portion of all MyJane’s proceeds goes to the nonprofit. MyJane offers curated CBD products that benefit your wellness and help the cause of supporting women survivors of human trafficking, so you know that your purchase is making a difference. If you would like to support International Sanctuary or purchase jewelry made by survivors, you can follow the links below.