September 11, 2009
Inspired by their group project in Data Analysis (IPOL 8504) that linked human trafficking with women's empowerment, Mindy Chiang (MPA '09) and four other classmates founded One Less, Uno Menos, an NGO that promotes awareness on human trafficking. Activities of the group include working with the Toluca, Mexico government to work with college students on anti-human trafficking and establishing the STOP club at MIIS to promote awareness on human trafficking through a film series, panel discussion, and women's self defense class. The goal of this alliance is to establish campus ties and to get more students involved. Locally, the group has worked with the San Jose Police Department Human Trafficking Task Force, the Central Coast, and South Bay Coalition for human trafficking.
As a Public Administration student, Mindy studied non-profit management. Many of the issues discussed in class were situations that she had encountered when establishing One Less, Uno Menos. With this hands-on experience, theory became real and was applied in practice. Furthermore, she was able to apply the same lessons learned through both the MPA program and her internship with Empowering Women of Nepal. This organization has pioneered the promotion of female trekking guides in the Himalayas. Initially, her position was to perform all English correspondence with their international funders. Her position then grew to performing program assessments in West Nepal and teaching English to trainees. Recently, the organization had celebrated their 10th year anniversary, which Mindy helped to organize.
Mindy stated that both experiences in establishing the NGO and the internship had remarkable similarities. How to market your NGO, where to find funding, and grant writing applied to both situations. The main difference was that the Nepal experience was from a developing country perspective.