At Parker Clay, our mission is to help lift women out of prostitution in Ethiopia by providing them with jobs and education. We’ve taken this mission to the community in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where our founders once lived to create a sustainable change by providing a valid opportunity. In Ethiopia, we’re partnering with Elilta- Women at Risk to do so and so far, it’s going pretty well.
What are we after now? The answer is something shockingly similar. We are currently partnering with the Uffizi Order in Santa Barbara as well as the Rise Project in Santa Barbara County to stop human trafficking in the city that is home to our headquarters. The Uffizi Order is a nonprofit that works with and for the marginalized and the Rise Project is a program developed by the Santa Barbara County Department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services to serve the behavioral health needs of Santa Barbara County children at risk for, or victims of, commercial sexual exploitation.
How have we started to do this? One word: Community. We are utilizing the resources of our community to produce fast, long-lasting change in the lives of these adults and teens who have been sexually exploited in our own neighborhoods. Their needs range from items such as phones, services like tattoo removal, and, most of all, housing. By coming together with a community collaborative consisting of other organizations as well as other businesses, we are able to fundraise for these needs effectively or donate out of our own pockets with what we have to spare. The stories of these victims are heartbreaking and tragic but they aren’t so distant to what we’ve seen of our employees in Ethiopia.
Right now, we’re channeling all of our efforts and energy into fundraising for a housing unit with necessary amenities for these victims to keep them safe and make them feel at home. So far there have been several events to fundraise and we have raised over half of our goal! Our next event is an art market in Santa Barbara on April 28th, from 6-8pm. You can check out the flyer down below if you’re interested, we’d love to see you there!