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Love146 was founded in 2002 and incorporated in 2004. Initially focusing our attention internationally, Love146’s co-founders traveled to southeast Asia in order to speak with experts on the ground and ascertain how Love146 could support local anti-trafficking efforts abroad. We kept hearing that there were not enough safe places to support children in their recovery. We heard that grassroots shelters were doing wonderful work but lacked the financial resources to do more. In our initial years, we focused on fundraising to support these efforts. Through this work, Love146learned about Dr. Gundelina Velazco, a Filipina native who was providing intensive training to equip front line workers to effectively engage with and provide services to this population. Knowing there was a need for more safe homes, Love146 asked Dr. Velazco what she would do if she could create an aftercare program from scratch. In that initial meeting, she outlined a vision for and diagrammed the Round Home.
In 2005, Dr. Velazco launched Love146 (Philippines), providing her expert training to providers throughout southeast Asia. Four years later, in 2009, Dr. Velazco was able to realize her vision and launched Love146’s Round Home, a safe home exclusively focused on the restoration and holistic care of girls who have been trafficked. In 2012, Love146 (Philippines) expanded to serve male victims of child trafficking through our White Home. Together the Round and White Homes have served over 100 exploited children, and today our work in the Philippines also includes prevention efforts, community interventions, rigorous research, and systems change.Recognizing that children are not only trafficked overseas, in 2010 Love146 began offering services in the United States. Initially, programming in the United States focused on offering prevention education to children at-risk of trafficking in schools, child welfare and juvenile justice programs, and other community settings. From 2010 through 2014, Love146 (US) implemented prevention education programming to over 9,000 youth.
Recognizing gaps in the available curricula, in 2015Love146 (US) developed Not a Number, a five-module prevention curriculum that addresses critical issues (e.g., online recruitment and grooming, gang-related trafficking) and populations(e.g., males, LGBTQ youth) not covered in other curricula. Committed to ensuring that our prevention education program remains current, Love146 (US) routinely updates our curriculum and is now on version three of Not a Number which is currently being implemented in 22 states.
In 2014, Love146 (US) added survivor care services to our programming, offering these services inConnecticut. What began with one social worker is now a statewide program, with a team of over20 dedicated professionals. Today, over 500 youth in Connecticut have benefited from survivor care services which include, but are not limited to: skills development, education/employment assistance, crisis intervention, safety planning, application assistance, appointment accompaniment, and court/trial preparation/assistance. Love146 has shared lessons we have learned through our prevention education and survivor care services through national presentations, participation on national advisory committees, and publications.
Love146 also offers survivor care services to victims of child trafficking in the United Kingdom. In 2010, Love146 opened an office in the United Kingdom. Love146 (UK) delivers child protection and survivor care services, including housing accommodation and support services to child survivors of trafficking. Love146 (UK) primarily serves children from abroad trafficked into the country for the purposes of sex, labor and other forms of exploitation. Through its Rapid Response Out-of-HoursPlacement Service, Love146 (UK) is able to provide short-term housing accommodation and support services to unaccompanied children and suspected and confirmed child victims of trafficking. Those identified as suspected and confirmed victims of trafficking have the option to move to alternative longer-term placements, if needed.
Because the team in the United Kingdom are working with foreign nationals, their work includes helping children navigate the asylum and immigration processes. As part of this process Love146(UK) ensures that the fundamental rights of these children are upheld, and that their best interests are met as part of the protection and support that they receive. Love146 (UK) also delivers critical assessment and safety planning; and supports children within its care to access health care, education, and employment so that they are able to sustain recovery and build stable and safe futures. Love146 (UK) knows that no one organization alone can realize the end of child trafficking and partners with a range of organizations, offers awareness-raising and training, and participates on multiple, collaborative bodies working to affect policy change.
As an international organization, Love146 recognizes that there is no single narrative of what child trafficking looks like. Children are trafficked through commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. They are victimized in countries of origin, transit, and destination. Their traffickers are family members, strangers, “romantic partners,” “friends,” and “employers”. They are trafficked by single individuals and organized crime groups. Because there is no single form of child trafficking, there is no single model or solution that can bring about the end of child trafficking.
Love146 journeys alongside children impacted by trafficking today and prevents the trafficking of children tomorrow.
The end of child trafficking and exploitation. Nothing less.