It's been over eight years since three roommates including myself sat on a couch in a New York city apartment and dreamed of how we could change the world. At the time we had no wives, no children. The only thing stopping us was the fear of failure.
We set out to not just do something stupid as it appeared, but to do something with justice something that left a tangible impact on the lives of others while using our skills as creatives.
To think that we were naive was quite an understatement. The world was ours and we had nothing stopping us. We packed our bags and headed off to what we knew was the heart of a war zone a place where young children were being exploited by their mothers, fathers, neighbors - forced to do inexplicable acts. I still recall the first twelve year old girl we found. She was frightened, alone - her innocence ripped from her the very moment she walked past the entrance of the buildings cold steel door.
We would never come to find out her name, nor were we able to rescue her that night. but she became the inspiration to do something, to be be something. We knew we needed to be her voice and the many others who were unable to speak.
As the years past our vision grew. Others gathered around, friends, family, donors and complete strangers in support of what we wanted to do. People that believed in the simple notion that maybe one day we can live in a world devoid of slavery.
A story that lived on because of you.
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To all our financial supporters it’s because of you that we were able to repatriate young women back with their families. It’s because of you that we were able to provide eye-care to hundred of people who could not see. It’s because of you that we were able to provide workshops to teaching survivors hair and makeup skills - while giving them back a sense of confidence and physical transformation. It’s because of you we were able to start a social enterprise called Biographe Lab where we gave survivors the opportunity to learn skills in screen printing, design production, and is still in operation to this day.
To The Blind Project team, you’ve been the backbone of what The Blind Project has been throughout the years. You’ve fought the good fight making personal sacrifices at times to be a voice for the voiceless. Thank you for all the memories - the laughs, the tears and the late nights we spent dreaming together. It’s something I’ll always remember.
If it wasn’t for you guys I would have given up along time ago. Thank you for believing in me.
Lastly, we have to acknowledge the real heroes. The champions of our hearts and the fuel that kept the fire burning. Not only did your stories of heroism keep us going - it gave us hope seeing your transformed lives full of incredible strength. We hope and pray that your stories will continue on to be an examples of restoration and courage for those without freedom.
If you are still interested in supporting our vision you can make a donation directly to our partner Nightlight our who is currently continuing to champion the vision of economic sustainability for survivors.
Anthony Dodero, Founder