Ending slavery is not just some “charity exercise.” When people are free, they create what Free the Slaves President Kevin Bales calls the “freedom dividend”: entire communities prosper. Local economies thrive when formerly enslaved people start their own businesses; communities begin flourish as people come together to organize and watch out for one another; children go to school—and the benefits extend for generations.

Free the Slaves has seen this happen in our groundbreaking Free a Village Build a Movement campaign, which we launched in India.

Free the Slaves supporter Gil Gillenwater coined the term “Free a Village.” Hear why he thinks this campaign is the best humanitarian “return on investment.”

In many parts of India, entire communities are trapped in generational, debt-bondage slavery. They are shackled to their slaveholders with bogus debts—often, these communities see no way out.

As part of FTS' "Free a Village" campaign, communities are empowered to organize, and stand up to their oppressors. Schools are set up, where children can learn—rather than be forced to work.

But there is a solution. With the help of your donations, communities can become free. FTS partners set up educational workshops to empower communities with knowledge of their rights. Once they know that slavery is illegal in India, and they have a right to freedom, communities come together to stand up to their oppressors. Local government and police can be pursuaded to enforce the law, and arrest and prosecute traffickers. Job training and financial assistance help villagers start their own businesses and become self sufficient. Community vigilance committees act as watch dogs against preying traffickers.

And once one village comes together to bring themselves out of slavery, it can have a domino effect on the neighboring communities. Freedom is infectious—we’ve seen this first hand.

Learn more about Free the Slaves’ Free a Village Build a Movement campaign here. And donate to FTS today, so we can continue to work with our partners in India, to empower communities to come to freedom.