With the Stella Fella Friday event held last week at the Beresford Hotel in Sydney’s Surry Hills, an organization known as Project Futures aim to raise funds for the Salvation Army.
Shining a light on the outstanding men across the Australian community, Project Futures has been successful in raising over $100,000 for their current campaign. “A hundred thousand dollars means we can be alongside more people” the head of the Salvo’s Services, Melanie-Anne Holland said.
“We rely on partnerships like the one with Project Futures to keep our services up and running… It’s a step by step process but we see the results everyday”.
Purchasing a bowtie for Stella Fella contributes to the partnership with the Salvation Army’s anti-human trafficking unit, an initiative designed to house up to ten women at one time.
The safe house provides victims of human trafficking with counseling, financial support, education opportunities, immigration and advocacy with legal proceedings. “[It’s] a holistic program to help them regain their confidence and take back their lives” said Holland.
CEO of Project Futures Stephanie Lorenzo, was able to take a positive spin on the issue. “The campaign aims to create male role models within the community to take the lead and set a precedent of support” said Stephanie.
One of the top finalists in the running for the Stella Fella award was finalist, Sasha Lawrence. One of five young leaders running workshops for more than ten thousand young people, the 23 year old nominee also runs the Mali institute (of which he is the CEO).
“I run a lot of workshops for young men and it’s all about being positive males in society… So I think this campaign [Stella Fella] is really clever in that regard”.
Amongst the Project Futures ambassadors was news presenter Matt Doran. “Once I stepped in there [safe house] everything changed for me because you think Australia’s immune entirely from this as a problem when in fact, we’re not.”
Human trafficking now takes place across a range of industries. A study conducted by Project Futures found that people are now being trafficked into domestic servitude, construction, retail and hospitality. It has grown into an industry of over $30 billion a year and has become the fastest growing crime in the world.
Tanya Rae & Maryan Aziz