Rotary Club The Hague Metropolitan
Estela Landeros is a Rotarian and lifelong educator who has tirelessly worked to eliminate human trafficking from schools worldwide. She partnered with Just Ask Prevention, a non-profit that educates teachers and students about the signs of human trafficking, as well as strategies to protect their communities. Estela began this project when she was president of her new club, The Rotary Club of West Springfield, when she learned that human trafficking was present at the schools their club was sponsoring. Human trafficking is a global crisis. Globally, over 24.9 million people are being trafficked for labor or sex. In the US alone, hundreds of thousands of people have been reported as victims of human trafficking. Needing more information about the problem before tackling it, Estela contacted Bill Woolf, Executive Director of Just Ask Prevention, to learn more about how insidious trafficking really is and what her Rotary Club could do about it. “What we learned, which was not only sad, but devastating, led us to get involved, get trained, and sponsor a project in one of the local schools,” said Estela describing how she felt after Woolf’s presentation.
Presently, Estela has been involved with two projects that have been implemented with the Rotary Club of Guadalajara and the Rotary Club of Hague. Following a strategic plan, Estela initially visited Guadalajara to run a needs assessment and talk to local organizations and gather information about human trafficking in the area. Then, she looked for local funding to support Rotary’s efforts. Corporativa de Fundaciones, a local organization that matches projects with sponsors, took our project and helped Rotary Club of Guadalajara make it possible. They implemented an age-specific curriculum developed by Just Ask and trained educators on how to spot the signs of human trafficking in the area. Through their efforts, 78 schools, 18 non for-profit organizations and one full police department were trained on trafficking prevention strategies.
The Rotary Club of The Hague project was more specific. They decided to start with 5 specific schools in the area. They were supported by Rotaract Scheveningen, who helped them visit schools and present the project. Estela involved Rotaracts since they are closer in age to high school students and can also talk to university students about the issue. Metropolitan. One was with the Rotary Club of Guadalajara and another with the Rotary Club of The Hague to combat human trafficking. Following a strategic plan, Estela initially visited Guadalajara to run a needs assessment and talk to local organizations and gather information about human trafficking in the area. Then, she looked for local funding to support Rotary’s efforts. Corporativa de Fundaciones, a local organization that matches projects with sponsors, took the project and helped the Rotary Club of Guadalajara make it possible. They implemented an age-specific curriculum developed by Just Ask and trained educators on how to spot the signs of human trafficking in the area. Through their efforts, 78 schools, 18 non-for-profit organizations, and one full police department were trained on trafficking prevention strategies.
As part of the training program, each school will receive printed materials as well as electronic versions of the training. The program is designed to allow attendees to become trainers, ensuring that the information is carried throughout the school. As training is free to schools, each attendee is asked to train at least 5 more colleagues in order to spread education and awareness.
Estela’s project is in full swing, and she will be returning to Guadalajara this year to evaluate the effect Just Ask’s curriculum has had on the community. She is eager to expand this program with other Rotarians wanting to end human trafficking in their community and offers advice on how to start,
“First of all, Rotary clubs should start investigating what is the current status of human trafficking in their community and how could they get involved. There are several sources they can access to find out which organizations are working in this field and what they are doing. I am listing some below. This is a perfect project for peacebuilders clubs because it aligns not only with education and peace and conflict resolution but it helps help one child at the time and all you need to do as a Rotarian is help training teachers, parents, and community leaders on how to identify potential signs of human trafficking and how and where to get support. Rotary clubs are welcome to use the strategy mentioned above in order to determine if they would like to get involved in a project like this one. I will be more than happy to provide them with virtual presentations as well as in-person if it is a close area near where I currently live (Bratislava, Slovakia).”
Estela’s work has brought the hidden world of human trafficking to light, and together, we can put a stop to it. To learn more about Estela’s Project, visit the project site here.