As 2018 draws to a close, we’d like to share some reflections on the Freedom Fund’s journey so far and extend our heartfelt thanks to our investors and other supporters for their deep commitment to the fight against modern slavery.
The Freedom Fund opened its doors in January 2014 – so we are now approaching the end of our fifth year of operation. Looking back over those five years, we have much to be proud of and much to be thankful for. In particular, we are grateful to our courageous frontline anti-slavery partners, who are central to all that we have achieved to date and hope to achieve in the future. We are now partnering with 120 of these frontline organisations, working in eight global slavery hotspots.
Collectively, we have now passed several significant milestones. Just this month we have liberated our 20,000th individual from slavery, and we have now placed over 45,000 at-risk children back into school. Together, we have directly impacted over half a million lives. We are also operating innovative global initiatives that draw from and reinforce our work in the hotspots. What is most exciting to us is how our frontline partners are working together to promote policies that protect millions of the most vulnerable, hold governments and businesses to account, and change the underlying systems that allow slavery to persist. We have produced this short animated video to illustrate the power of this collective action.
As we look forward to the next five years, we plan to strengthen and deepen our commitment to the frontlines. In addition to our existing work in hotspots and on global initiatives, we will increase our investment in the frontline anti-slavery movement by launching a Freedom Leadership Program. This leadership and networking initiative will invest in a new generation of frontline practitioners, especially women, working with communities vulnerable to modern slavery and human trafficking. More on this to follow in the new year.
Of course, none of the Freedom Fund’s achievements would have been possible without the generous support of our investors, particularly our founders – Walk Free Foundation, Legatum Foundation and Humanity United – whose vision and commitment got us started in the first place. Their ongoing support, and that of our other anchor donors, including the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, C&A Foundation, the Stardust Fund and UBS Optimus Foundation, has sustained our work since then. To all of them and our many other committed investors and supporters, we extend our appreciation and thanks for enabling our efforts and those of our partners to thrive.
As we take time with family and friends this holiday season, we are hopeful that by continuing our work together, we can bring an end to slavery ever closer.
Photo credit: Atul Loke, © Legatum Limited 2018