Nicky is the founder of Free To Shine, a non profit in Cambodia that works to protect the most vulnerable girls and get them back in school in order to prevent sex trafficking. Free To Shine first began after our founder spent time in Cambodia talking with survivors of sex trafficking:
“I asked survivors who had been rescued how I could help, and I was hardly prepared for their answer. I thought they’d want something straight-forward and easy to provide, like university tuition fees, but they didn’t want anything for themselves. Instead they wanted for no other girl to go through the horrors they’d been through. They asked me to go out into the rural villages, find the girls who weren’t in school, and protect them. They told me that if these young girls were in school they would not be trafficked.”
Nicky Mih, Founder & Managing Director, Free To Shine.
The International Labour Organisation states that ‘getting girls into schools and keeping them there is vital to reducing their vulnerability to trafficking,’ while UNESCO report that there are currently 25,697 girls in Cambodia who should be in primary school but are not, and a further 119,972 girls who should be in grades 7-9 but are not.
Free To Shine follows a UN human rights based model and recognizes that in order for girls to succeed in school and remain safe, their basic needs must be addressed. Therefore, in addition to mentoring and tuition assistance, Free To Shine provides tools that allow our girls to succeed on their own including; a bike, a water filter, home repairs/re-builds and seeds for them to plant their own garden.
Free To Shine’s commitment to education in order to prevent sex trafficking goes beyond the girls in our scholarship program. We also provide community classes to our girls, their family members, neighbours, and broader communities, to teach them about their rights and how to protect themselves and their families from exploitation and abuse.
By Kevin. Learn more about Kevin’s awesome campaign here: