Blog Archives

Switch

The story of our CEO, Shamere McKenzie, is featured in a documentary produced on the island of Aruba by The Switch Foundation.

SYNOPSIS OF DOCUMENTARY ‘FALSE PROMISE ‘:
The story of Shamere inspired the Switch Foundation team and that is why we wanted to multiply the message through False Promise, an experimental documentary adapted in Aruba with aspiring and amateur actors, designed to prevent the sexual exploitation and abuse of our girls by networks. traffickers and labor exploitation in men and boys dramatizing through artistic expressions the tactics most used by traffickers to attract victims to this dark business.

False Promise, original name in Papiamento, is a call to action. A testimony of survival and a gift of love dedicated to our island Aruba, to the countries of the world and to the vulnerable communities of human trafficking.

The courage and testimony of a young woman can change the world and prevent victims of false promises. Shamere Mckenzie was a victim of sexual exploitation. Now she has become an activist and an expert in Human Trafficking issues. She has taken her experience to universities, conferences, community events, state agencies, private companies and NGOs; to raise awareness, prevent and train people on how to identify situations that may end in exploitation and abuse of human rights.

The goal is to carry a message of prevention and detection to all children, youth and parents through the distribution of documentary in schools in the Caribbean and Latin America, and digital channels with the support of all the world organizations and people who are fighting for the same cause.

A huge thank you to Switch Foundation, Aruba, Paula Nahr the founder of the Switch Foundation and Producer of the documentary for using her platform to share this message.

Thanks to Directors Rafael Barragán and Joshua Verschuur, Director of Photography Ronney Dotel, Art Director Jhon Freddy Tobón Montoya and acting coach Gloria Bryce, for achieving and executing the visual concept with excellence.

What an amazing performance and acting by Gena Ramirez Boom who played Shamere and delivered a clear message.

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU. Feel free to share and let us know your thoughts.

Click Here to watch the documentary False Promises

 

 

Our CEO, Shamere McKenzie’s story was featured as part of Robin Roberts of ABC’s Good Morning America Thriver Series. Click here to watch the video.

Human Trafficking Month 2019January is declared the National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Join Sun Gate Foundation in our Freedom For Survivors campaign where we will highlight survivor leaders from around the country who will answer the question: What Does Freedom Mean to You? This campaign was inspired by Juliana Semione.

Juliana is a research associate in the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham and the program developer for The Salvation Army U.K.’s modern slavery unit. In addition, Juliana is pursuing her PhD at the University of Nottingham. Her doctoral thesis centers on the question, “What is freedom from modern slavery?” Juliana’s aim is that the anti-slavery field can unite around an understanding of freedom for the good of survivors just as it has united around an understanding of modern slavery for the good of those who are victimized or vulnerable.

Further, she believes that a shared conception of freedom will raise the standard of support for survivors and increase accountability among those who provide it.

Before relocating to the U.K., Juliana worked with the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force in California. She earned her BA from Biola University and holds an MA in global ethics and human values from King’s College London. She is also an Associate of King’s College London.

When our CEO, Shamere McKenzie, met Juliana in 2018 in the UK and learned of her thesis, she immediately connected with her. Shamere feels far too often freedom is defined for survivors and many don’t fully understand freedom for someone who has escaped the atrocity we know as human trafficking.

Join us for the month of January as we hear from survivors on what freedom means to them. #freedomforsurvivors

 

Abstract
“Survivors of prostitution propose a policy reform platform including three main pillars of priority: criminal justice reforms, fair employment, and standards of care. The sexual exploitation of prostituted individuals has lasting effects which can carry over into many aspects of life. In order to remedy these effects and give survivors the opportunity to live a full and free life, we must use a survivor-centered approach to each of these pillars to create change. First, reform is necessary in the criminal justice system to recognize survivors as victims of crime and not perpetrators, while holding those who exploited them fully responsible. Second, reform is necessary to assist survivors in finding fair employment by offering vocational training, financial counseling, and educational scholarships, as well as offering employment opportunities that utilize survivors’ vast array of skills and interests. Finally, standards of care for survivors exiting prostitution should focus on supporting survivors in our journeys and support short- and long-term resources that empower us. These systemic changes are necessary to recognize survivors as the valuable human beings we are and to support survivors in fulfilling our vast potential.” Read More at Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and Violence: Vol. 3: Iss. 3, Article 10. 

 

On July 25-26, 2018, the National Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons (NATFATIP) hosted the first form of its kind to be convened in the Caribbean – “The Hard Road to Recovery: From Victim to Survivor”. The inaugural international conference was held at the Melia Braco Village Hotel in Trelawny, Jamaica.

The main objectives of the conference were to:

  • Increase public awareness to discourage these activities and to warn those who are unaware.
  • Train officials throughout the public and private sectors on identifying victims of trafficking.
  • Build capacities through legislation and institutional strengthening.

“The opening ceremony included the sashing of the island’s first-ever Human Trafficking Ambassadors, Miss Jamaica World 2017, Solange Sinclair, and Founder of The Sun Gate Foundation and human trafficking survivor, Shamere McKenzie, who also delivered the keynote address.”

“There can be no more powerful voice than that of a person who has survived and who has recovered to speak to the challenges faced by victims of trafficking on their journey to recovery from the pain and trauma they have experienced. She is one of two ambassadors who have agreed to lend their public image and voice to Jamaica’s national effort to fight against human trafficking.” Carol Palmer, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice.
“It is such an honor to serve my country in this capacity. Over the years I have been making strides in the US to combat the issue of human trafficking but deep down I wanted to be involved in my birth country. I have laced up my boot strings, put on my boxing gloves and is ready to join efforts with the NATFATIP and others in Jamaica fighting trafficking.” Shamere McKenzie

Other speakers and presenters include:

  • Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, MP – Minister of National Security
  • Mrs. Carol Palmer, CD, JP, – Chair, NATFATIP
  • Her Excellency Ms. Magorzata Wasilewska – Head of the European Union Delegation to Jamaica
  • Her Excellency Ms. Laurie Peters – Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica
  • Mr. Mark Seibel – Deputy Chief of Mission, United States Embassy
  • Speakers from Romania, New York, Interpol and others
Left to right: CEO of Sun Gate Foundation, Shamere McKenzie; Ms Jamaica World 2017,, Solange Sinclair; Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Justice and Chair of NATFATIP, Carol Palmer

Left to right: CEO of Sun Gate Foundation, Shamere McKenzie; Ms Jamaica World 2017,, Solange Sinclair; Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Justice and Chair of NATFATIP, Carol Palmer

 

 

Screenshot_20180624-223655_Adobe Acrobat

“Education was my ‘way out’ of a family locked in generational cycles of violence, substance abuse, mental illness and poverty.” Kate Price, Ph.D. scholar
With your help we can provide assistance to many other survivors like Kate. Immediately show your support and participate in our educational campaign. Through education, survivors can be empowered to confidently pursue their dreams and become more active and vital members of society. In addition, survivors often position themselves to “give back” after completing their education by using their combination of training and direct experience to actively assist other trafficking survivors.
Purpose & Goal of the Educational Campaign 
Through the Educational Campaign, Sun Gate Foundation is raising funds to help purchase text books and tuition assistance for survivors of human trafficking enrolled in an educational program in Fall 2018 semester. The average cost of a semester’s worth of text books is around $500. Our goal is to help at least 10 survivors with textbooks and 10 survivors with tuition assistance.

 

How Far Your Dollar Can Go

If you are a believer in education and would like to empower survivors, we ask that you make a small donation according to the levels below.

$5000 – gives a scholarship in your name for tuition for a survivor.

$1500 – gives a scholarship in your name for textbooks for a survivor.

$1000 – pays for all textbooks for 1 survivor for an entire semester or pay for textbooks for 2 survivors for one semester.

$500 – pays for textbooks for 1 survivor for 1 semester.

$100 – gives towards tuition for a survivor

$50 – gives towards textbooks for a survivor

We need your help!!!

Donate now and invite your friends or family members who may be interested in helping us reach our goal. Be a part of the solution and participate in our fundraiser. Join us in being a “way out” for survivors of human trafficking around the country like Kate.

 

Your donation can change a life.
Quote from a Sun Gate Scholar 
The textbook scholarship relieved me of some of my financial burdens, and I feel a lot more confident and successful both in class and in my life. It is such a great feeling to know that there are people as kindhearted as you are who choose to go out of their way to help people like me in need. Although my journey has not been an easy one, this has helped me not only financially, but it has also helped me realize that there are still good people in this world who truly care about the well-being of others. It also helped me realize that my past should not determine my future and that I really have a chance to make something of myself.”

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW!!! 

Dawson Real Estate

Click here to watch our CEO, Shamere McKenzie as she shares her story with NBC 4 news.

“North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein on Thursday said the state is working with several partners to help combat human trafficking.

In a news conference at the Salvation Army of Wake County, Stein said his office, along with partners like Project Fight, one of the leaders in the state at fighting human trafficking, are working to better train and equip the public to help.”

Click Here to read the full story and see video of our CEO, Shamere McKenzie

On November 4, 2017, our C.E.O. , Shamere McKenzie, received the Hero Award. The award was presented by Unlikely Heroes organization in recognition of unwavering commitment to protect the vulnerable, stop human trafficking and further the cause of human rights worldwide.
The other hero recipients include actor, Francia Raisa; Dallas Police Sergeant, Byron Fassett and Director of Therapy for The Refuge Toni McKinley.

IMG-20171105-WA0135IMG-20171105-WA0071 IMG-20171104-WA0017