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“We love the camaraderie of different nonprofit organizations in one space. Having a shared workspace gives us access to a lot more tools than we used to have.”
Deborah Eriksson, Executive Director, Love Does
“Love is never stationary. In the end, love doesn’t just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does.” – Bob Goff
After witnessing extreme human rights violations, including bonded labor, sex trafficking and other exploitation, on a trip to India in 2002, Seattle attorney Bob Goff founded the nonprofit organization Restore International to fight for freedom and human rights in India.
Through investigations, surveillance, brothel raids and work with local law enforcement, Goff’s organization affected positive change in India for over a decade, rescuing more than 200 children and arresting more than 150 sex traffickers.
But the impact doesn’t end there.
Renamed Love Does in 2012 following the success of Goff’s book Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World, Goff’s organization has expanded its work to four other countries: Uganda, Somalia, Iraq and Nepal.
Love Does’ purpose remains the same: Fight for freedom and human rights, improve educational opportunities and be helpful to those in need of a voice and a friend.
[Tweet “.@lovedoes Fights For Freedom and Human Rights Worldwide”]
“Our focus is on countries that are recovering from or are still engaged in areas of conflict,” said Love Does Executive Director Deborah Eriksson. “We’ve found that ways to change communities exponentially are by investing in the women and children of those communities.”
Fighting for Human Rights Worldwide
Love Does determines community needs by talking to leaders of each country, whether that be the prime minister of Somalia or chief justice in Uganda, to understand social issues. After determining areas of need, Love Does puts programs in place to change communities for the better.
In Uganda, Love Does established an education program for almost 500 primary and secondary school students and more than 40 university students.
“The most important thing is seeing the kids grow through the programs. They really come out of their shells and are more confident and creative,” Deborah highlighted. “That’s our measure of success.”
The organization has also built safe houses in Uganda to protect young girls and women from sex trafficking and other types of exploitation.
Love Does leads similar programs in Somalia and Iraq, and provides refugee camps for Iraqis fleeing from ISIS. In September 2015, the organization opened an orphanage in Nepal, one of the most impoverished countries in the world, for young, orphaned girls to experience what it’s like to be welcomed into a family for the first time.
Just as important as setting up these programs are the regular visits Deborah and her team take to these countries, some of which requires 2-3 trips per year.
“Travel could be dangerous, but it’s worth going because then we can really see the projects working,” she explained. “Regular visits are a good way to see updates, and it’s amazing to see that all the effort we’re putting in is really working.”
While Love Does has accomplished much since its beginnings in 2002, the organizations plans to continue to make an impact through its current projects and is to looking to work in other areas of conflict in the near future.