I recently had the opportunity to attend The Channel Company’s Women of the Channel Leadership Summit East conference (WOTC), which was held on December 10-11, 2019, in New York. As a first-time attendee, I felt excited to be among so many accomplished women from across the IT channel – and to hear first-hand the reflections and experiences of speakers including cosmetics titan and entrepreneur, Bobbi Brown; co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway, Jennifer Hyman; and Dell Technologies CMO, Allison Dew. I looked forward to networking with peers and leadership, and to learn from each interaction.
I did not anticipate, however, that I would leave the conference with a full heart, and a feeling of pride to say that I work for Dell Technologies – an organization who truly believes in the power of our ability and responsibility to transform lives.
Supporting Victims of Human Trafficking with Channel@Work and Willow International
Channel@Work, the charitable arm of The Channel Company, selected Willow International as the WOTC East 2019 charity partner. Willow International’s mission is to “end human trafficking through restoration, prevention, and partnership.”
Willow International founder, Kelsey Morgan, shared the horrifying reality of human trafficking today:
- There are more than 40 million victims of human trafficking worldwide
- Exploiters earn more than $150-billion annually
- The average human trafficking victim’s age is just 13 years old
- Fewer than 1% of human trafficking victims are rescued
Much of Willow International’s work is focused on Uganda, which has become an epicenter of human trafficking activity. Due to its incredibly high unemployment rate, civil instability and large youth population, enterprising exploiters find it easy to target and prey upon victims.
However, through their tireless efforts to educate and collaborate with Ugandan and international government and law enforcement agencies, to identify and rescue human trafficking victims, and to provide restorative care and legal aid to victims, Willow International is making an impact – in Uganda and around the globe.
Through their efforts, Willow International has:
- Restored more than 600 lives (mostly women and children)
- Driven a 95% success rate in preventing re-victimization
- Trained 40% of Ugandan courts on anti-trafficking laws
- Trained 20% of Ugandan police districts to identify and stop trafficking
- Increased the number of human trafficking cases filed in Uganda by 165%
Channel@Work in Service Project Sponsored by Dell Technologies Women’s Partner Network
On Tuesday, December 10, Dell Technologies Women’s Partner Network sponsored a Channel@Work volunteer and give back event to benefit Willow International. Women from Dell Technologies, our partners, and The Channel Company came together to meet founder Kelsey Morgan and to learn about the transformative and lifesaving work of Willow International.
During this emotional session, Kelsey shared a video from a rescued trafficking victim who received not only restorative care but also a new life of hope from Willow International. We also virtually connected with a restorative home and some of the youngest trafficking victims served by Willow International. The children shared some of the skills they’re learning while in restorative care and performed several self-written songs about their experience with Willow International. Their stories, as well as their joy to have found a new life with the help of Willow International, deeply moved everyone present – there was not a dry eye in the room.
Following, we worked together to assemble bags for the women and children served by Willow International – each containing personal and self-care items, along with hand-written notecards of encouragement written by attendees. Together, we created more than 120 care packages that Willow International will distribute to victims in their restorative care homes.
Realizing the Power to Transform Lives … Together
Did you know? On average, it costs Willow International $6,000 to rescue and restore a single human trafficking victim.
Stephanie Ford, Mitel’s Vice President of Enterprise Sales, shared during the Channel@Work session, “Woman were born with two hands. One to pull herself up and one to pull others up with her.” This sentiment resonated throughout WOTC East, as the women in attendance came together in support of Willow International.
Through WOTC’s Raffle for a Cause, attendees purchased raffle tickets for a chance to win fantastic prizes donated by the event sponsors, with all proceeds to benefit Willow International and their critical, life-saving work.
On behalf of Dell Technologies, Cheryl Cook presented Willow International with a donation of $10,000; and Anna Dorcey, VMware’s Vice President of Americas Marketing, presented Willow International with a donation of $5,000.
“I am so inspired and moved with the meaningful impact Willow International is having on the lives of women and children who are victims of human trafficking. Dell Technologies is honored to help Willow International further their mission,” shared Cheryl Cook.
In all, the Women of the Channel raised over $33,000 for Willow International! These donations will help Willow International continue their critical and life-saving work.
“We are amazed by the incredibly generous support of Dell Technologies, VMware, and the Women of the Channel community. They welcomed us with open arms and showered us with love, support, encouragement, and financial support. This results in tangible human impact – lives are being saved and hope is being restored,” said Kelsey Morgan, founder and executive director of Willow International.
The compassion of the WOTC attendees and the enthusiastic solidarity with which they supported a single worthy cause deeply moved me. If one thousand women could accomplish this in just a few days, imagine what we could do to impact lives and help drive human progress during the remainder of the year. I feel immensely thankful to Dell Technologies for the opportunity to attend WOTC; and to be a part of this incredible demonstration of human kindness.