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Esme Kisting

Namibia , Class of 2011

Esme Kisting

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Working with sex trafficking victims in Namibia, Esme Kisting provides them with housing, an income, and a chance at a life.

In 2006, six former sex workers walked in to a church in Namibia. They were looking for a new life, and for whatever support could be given. After the Council of Churches of Namibia gave funding, Ms. Kisting established and founded The King’s Daughters Organization. The organization is dedicated to working with victims of sex trafficking in Namibia. Many of these victims are HIV positive, and many have children. The organization helps them in whatever ways they can, whether that be with bible studies, healthcare, groceries, vocational training, substance abuse help, or counseling. By 2011, the organization had been providing services to over 60 women, and had been officially recognized by the government.

Since 2009, the organization has been overseeing several bike shops, and training women in repairing the bikes, and providing maintenance. Through these shops they have been able to provide an income for many of these women, and build a business that is self-sustaining and is able to help support some of their other programs such as nutrition programs for HIV positive people, school fees, jewelry making classes, and other types of activities and skills training. However, the organization still lacks a steady source of funding, and Ms. Kisting has repeatedly invested her own money into her organization. She also has led and helped to lead various public awareness campaigns around the country, educating people about human trafficking in Namibia. In 2011, she was honored as a "TIP Report Hero Acting to End Modern Slavery" in recognition of her efforts to combat human trafficking.

In the 2014 TIP Report, Namibia was listed on the Tier 2 Watch List. It is primarily a source and destination for children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Women are also found in sex trafficking situations. The laws are not fully in compliance with the minimum standards to eliminate trafficking, but Namibia has a written plan that would be if implemented. While some victim assistance is provided, victim identification processes are informal and not entirely reliable.

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