Rahab's Daughters - Female Executive of the Year
Company: Rahab's Daughters, Barrington Hills, IL
Company Description: We are a 501c3 Not for profit that rescues and rehabilitates Human Trafficking victims of all ages domestic & international, including children. We also run educational programs to inform the public about the issue and to prevent Human Trafficking.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Executive of the Year – Government or Non-Profit –10 or Less Employees
Nomination Title: Selfless Leader and Champion against Human Trafficking.
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):
Sharmila Wijeyakumar has rescued 22 women since last July from Human trafficking the youngest was a child of 22 months (Yes less than 2 years old) who was being raped on camera for profit. She dedicates every free moment to building into these women and rebuilding their self esteem.
She has opened her life up to making a positive impact in the lives of Human Trafficking victims, by personally mentoring them daily, and being available for them anytime.
She also came up with a way to spread the word in the community by hosting Brick painting parties where the local community can come and paint wooden bricks that are then used to spread the word about the 24 hour tip line so that the community can call in tips if they see anything suspicious after being educated about what to look for. This is also used every year in Superbowl city where she leads a mission trip each year to the city where Superbowl is held to prevent trafficking as this week is a major week for trafficking in one specific city.
Sharmila set up a Thrift Store last September to give women who have been trafficked the dignity of choice in their clothing. She combined this with a vocational training center teaching women retail skills merchandizing and marketing skills to help them train in marketable skills that will allow them to support themselves and their families longterm. The store has served over 100 survivors of trafficking since it’s opening in Sept 2016 until today.
Her methods of building trust with programs that encourage community participation her ethos that it takes a village, means that she provides a village of support for each survivor, allowing them to live in family pods and relearn how to assimilate into society again. She is a visionary in helping girls to understand and forgive themselves for any poor choices, and those who harmed them, and move on to a new life leaving the past in the past.
She runs the organization entirely on volunteers and is a superior delegator who wins the loyalty of all who serve with her because she really loves all those around her. As a survivor of Human trafficking herself she works a full time day Job to support he organization financially & her family while running a successful 501c3 that has rescued 51 victims in its 2 years in operation, and served countless others with clothing, food, and love.
She also spends countless hours speaking for free at any community venue or Mom’s group that will let her imploring Parents to help prevent their children from falling prey to traffickers with many prevention strategies that help to ensure safety and security of our children.
She is a woman of humility and rarely feels she deserves any praise or accolades for her selfless accomplishments but we her team feel it is critical that she is recognized for her tireless efforts to make the world a better place, one survivor at a time.
Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 125 words):
Sharmila Wijeyakumar has a Bachelors in Interpersonal & Organizational Communication from Purdue University, with a minor in Psychology. She is a Senior Account Executive at Liferay and has a long and distinguished Career in Software sales. Whilst pursuing her software career she has dedicated her life to God and to rescuing & rehabilitating victims of Human Trafficking.She worked in projects globally to reduce the number of child trafficking victims in 12 Spanish speaking countries. She has been honored in the Who’s who of Professional Women, CRN magazine named her one of the women of the Channel 4 years consecutively, and she is a published author helping tech start-ups. She is now serving as COO of Rahab’s Daughters spreading joy & compassion everywhere she goes.