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Meet Lee-Ann Gibbs—G Project Finalist

Lee-Ann Gibbs is an adventure seeker, world traveler, aspiring humanitarian, proud Canadian, friend, sister, auntie and daughter; all wrapped up in a corporate lawyer package

by Daniel Sendecki Posted on 12 September 2013

This week,?the?Looptail?is coming to you live from outside the gates of Costa Rica’s?Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio_?from our first-ever?Summit in the Jungle. Each day, we’re profiling a different visionary whose world-changing ideas earned them one of four spots at the Summit — and a shot at winning $25,000 to fund their vision. Today, we’re proud to introduce Canada’s Lee-Ann Gibbs.

G Project Finalist Lee-Ann Gibbs, Toronto

G Project Finalist Lee-Ann Gibbs, Toronto


My Idea: Human trafficking survivors take back the streets

My idea aims to provide hospitality training to the women survivors of violence in Nepal, thus offering them economic independence and self-confidence. My project would also incorporate G Adventures by including half-day tours led by the survivors in the Nepal trip itineraries.

Creating social change

Each year, an estimated 30,000 Nepali girls are tricked, coerced, abducted or willingly sold by their families into sexual slavery or forced labour. These girls have little to no education or employment opportunities and are often between 14-16 years old or younger. SASANE was established in 2008 by female former victims of human trafficking on the principle that survivors can create social change. SASANE's board of directors is comprised of seven women, all of whom are survivors. SASANE’s approach is original, innovative and impactful; the organization is empowering women survivors by training them become certified paralegals. Today, SASANE's paralegals work at 25 police stations in the Kathmandu Valley, providing compassion to other survivors and access to justice. SASANE’s paralegals also provide education and awareness training to schools and remote villages where girls are most vulnerable and at risk of human trafficking. All of SASANE’s programs are provided free of charge.

Leveraging the tourism industry

My idea is to leverage and support SASANE’s innovative, grassroots effort to empower human trafficking survivors by training them to become tour guides and hospitality staff, so they can have access to the resources and gain the economic benefits of the rapidly growing tourist industry in Nepal. After all, not every human trafficking survivor is capable of becoming, or wants to become, a certified paralegal. My idea will reach out to these vulnerable women who are at risk of re-trafficking, and provide them with education, training and employment. ??Each survivor deserves the opportunity to achieve her individual dream and potential.

Helping to heal

By providing survivors with the opportunity to become tour guides and hospitality staff, they will gain the self-esteem, skills, knowledge, experience and economic independence they need to become leaders in whatever field they choose to pursue. ??As tour leaders on the streets of Kathmandu, survivors will no longer be stigmatized and ostracized by their communities. These women will gain the respect that they deserve, become role models for young Nepali girls and provide hope and inspiration for other survivors. They will also gain confidence and feel proud of themselves and all that they have accomplished, which may help them to heal from their traumatic pasts.

Behind the idea: Lee-Ann Gibbs

Lee-Ann Gibbs is an adventure seeker, world traveler, aspiring humanitarian, proud Canadian, friend, sister, auntie and daughter; all wrapped up in a corporate lawyer package. Lee-Ann has a long and impressive resume as an advocate and volunteer for organizations such as Association Koulouna Maane, a women's organization that provides training in trades and crafts; New Hope Cambodia, which provides outreach, health care and education to impoverished citizens in Siem Reap; and SASANE, a Nepalese organization that trains female survivors of physical and sexual violence to be certified paralegals. SASANE is the focus of Lee-Ann’s idea for the G Project, as she seeks to garner more attention and support for its worthy cause.

Getting There

G Adventures runs a number of departures encompassing a wide range of departure dates and activities to cater to different tastes. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this big blue planet of ours — check out our small group trips here.