Made for Freedom CEO Dawn Menske giving a presentation on preventing human trafficking, in Shillong, Meghalaya Credit: EastMojo image

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Shillong: In a unique way to address human trafficking, Impulse Social Enterprises held a gathering in Shillong, Meghalaya recently to promote fashion as a medium to prevent rising cases. The event was attended by people from all walks of life; Dawn Manske, founder and CEO of Made for Freedom, was the chief speaker.

The NGO had also collaborated with US Consulate General Kolkata on social enterprises as a way forward in addressing human trafficking.

Taking to Twitter, Hasina Kharbhih, founder and managing director of Impulse Social Enterprises, wrote: “Another overwhelming successful collaboration with Impulse Social Enterprises and US Consulate Kolkata on Social Enterprises a way forward in addressing Human Trafficking Sohini Das Cultural Affairs Specialist American Centre and Sameek Ghosh Head Media Communications US Consulate Kolkata.”

While speaking with EastMojo, Kharbhih said, “The event was a part of our hybrid model which is Impulse Social Enterprises. We have been working with artisans in the Northeast, in ensuring that we prevent unsafe migration through economic development and sustainable market access. Impulse Social Enterprises provides livelihood to artisans in valuable communities in Northeastern states to prevent human trafficking.”

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She further said that it was an initiative to bring people from all walks of life to be aware of what social enterprise is all about. “As social enterprise, it is not just about being charitable but being conscious of what you purchase, what you’re contributing to the society and how one can engage in the larger platform, especially people who are marginalised,” she said.

Meanwhile, Menske shared her story how ‘Made for Freedom’ came about. The social enterprise has products that are made by women rescued from sex trafficking and those coming out of marginalised situations. By making the products, the women are provided with a safe place, a good wage and empowered with the dignity that comes from supporting themselves.

“I was learning about sex trafficking and that just ripped my heart, after which I desperately wanted to do something. With time I learnt how to use business to help people,” Menske said.

Artisans and designers, who were part of the event, also shared their side of the story. Daniel Syiem, creative head at Daniel Syiem’s Ethnic Fashion House (DSEFH), is well known to the people of the state. Syiem’s work with Eri silk fabric or Ryndia, as it is known in Khasi, has won him many laurels. Along with Janice Pyngrope, who is the business head of DSEFH, Syiem has been working hard to preserve the Khasi tradition of weaving and involving women weavers.

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