It has been a turbulent 12 months. Around the world, multiple waves of covid-19, economic shocks and conflict continued to hit hardest in the world’s most vulnerable communities, further exposing millions of people to trafficking and abuse.
But these crises also continue to highlight the critical importance of local, frontline organisations — who are very often the first to respond and the only ones left once international aid and attention have waned and moved on to the next crisis. Throughout all this instability, we remain in awe of the power of these organisations to fight for vulnerable communities, including those impacted by modern slavery.
To adapt to these challenges, the Freedom Fund has grown in many ways. We have surpassed our initial ambitions in terms of size and global reach. Perhaps more importantly, our understanding of what it will take to end modern slavery has also evolved. We still believe direct support for liberation and strong local leadership are critical, but we now understand them to be components in a broader strategy to change systems of exploitation and support marginalised communities to move from vulnerability to power.
The real value of this growth is evidenced by the scale of our impact in 2021, which we are happy to share in our latest annual impact report.
This level of impact would not have been possible if our community of philanthropists hadn’t grown with us. Last year, we were deeply grateful to receive a remarkably generous gift from MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett, and for the continued, and often deepened, support of our long-time donors.
It is only with the unwavering commitment of our funders and our frontline partners that we can make bold, ambitious plans for the future, including expanding into new sectors and geographies, supporting the leadership of women and survivors, and deepening our focus on long-term, systemic change. This is how we believe we can best achieve our vision of “a world free of slavery”.
We hope you will continue to accompany us on this journey.