How We Started
Project iRISE was founded by Rhonelle Bruder in 2020 with a mission to educate and empower survivors of human trafficking and those at-risk. Understanding the many challenges survivors of trafficking face when trying to rebuild their lives, Rhonelle wanted to focus on a much-needed area; creating opportunities for survivors to develop employable skills and build community.
Tapping into the community for support, Project iRISE was launched, as a 100% volunteer-run organization. With that support, we successfully ran a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds to remove branding tattoos from survivors of human trafficking. In late 2020, our Survivor Leadership program was a successful recipient of the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services in support of Ontario’s comprehensive Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy 2020 - 2025.
Our Survivor Leadership program is the first of its kind; a program designed for survivors by survivors with support from community partners. The leadership program will commence in September 2021 and welcome survivors to join a year-long training that combines coaching, group learning experiences, and peer mentorship. We are committed to continuing our work to creating educational and empowerment opportunities for survivors of human trafficking.
“We are not empowered until we start empowering each other”