New York, New York: Occupy Wall Street has received international attention for its movement against social and economic inequality. In countries like Cambodia, economic inequities make women and children vulnerable to exploitation and modern day slavery. According to Siddharth Kara, lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and advisor to the United Nations, the revenue generated from all forms of slavery was $96 billion in 2010. In light of the protests, small businesses in New York City are taking action to raise awareness and provide solutions to end exploitation of women and children in South East Asia.
Andre Wechsler, a native of Germany, left his job in finance in 2008 to open his own restaurant "Wechsler's Currywurst and Bratwurst" -- a small tavern that focuses on German street food and beer specialties. Andre's ancestry includes a lineage of Bavarian butchers and so he was inspired to make authentic German street food and culture available to New Yorkers. His restaurant has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Village Voice, NYMagazine, Timeout, and many others. Andre first heard about Nomi Network's mission to fight human trafficking through his wife, Sho-Joung Kim-Wechsler. Together, they were moved to take action and connected with the founders of Nomi Network at a Rotary meeting.
The Wechsler's are hosting an awareness raising event at their restaurant on December 6th, 2011 from 7:00-9:00 PM to increase awareness about this issue. "I was truly inspired by the founders' story and by Nomi's business approach to fight human trafficking in South East Asia. We are hoping that this event is the first step to stir our friends to action and support Nomi's cause," says Sho-Joung.
Alissa Moore and I founded Nomi Network in 2009 after being connected by mutual friends who knew they had similar interest in social justice. The organization is inspired and named after a young survivor by the name of Nomi in Cambodia. Nomi Network has won multiple awards, including a recent competitive governmental grant that will enable them to launch programs in India.
New York City is the epicenter of ideas that create wealth and social change. The Wechsler's are hoping to create an environment where this exchange can take place.
To learn more about Nomi Network, drop by at Wechsler's Currywurst and Bratwurst, 120 1st Avenue, New York NY on December 6th. If you can not make the event, visit Nomi Network's booth at the Union Square Holiday Market (Union Square East and 14th Street).