Free for Life's History

Since 2006, Free for Life International has been fighting for the freedom and flourishing of those victimized by human trafficking and slavery.

2006:
Free for Life International was founded by Colette Wise and Dan Bercu.

Free for Life International received official 501(c)3 status and established their partnership with what was at the time the only private shelter in Romania working with trafficking victims.

2007:
Free for Life International created a partnership with Peace Rehabilitation Center in Nepal.

Free for Life International joined The Department of Health and Human Services Rescue and Restore Coalition in Tennessee.

2008:
Free for Life International launched the first Hispanic division “En Accion” to work with Hispanic trafficking victims, as well as law enforcement in the Nashville area.

Free for Life International worked alongside others to establish a law that did not exist in Tennessee to help victims and prosecute traffickers.

2009:
Free for Life established a partnership with the only shelter in Nicaragua exclusively working with minor trafficking victims.

Free For Life ended the partnership with the shelter in Romania, after finding a larger funder to cover all of their needs.

2010:
Free for Life International began supporting a border monitoring station on the Nepal / India border at Krishnanagar, in collaboration with Peace Rehabilitation Center. 33 women and girls were rescued in 2010 as a result of this partnership.

Free for Life International launched its Scholarship Program designed to help those at high risk of being trafficked, or who have been trafficked, in the areas of higher education, therapeutic classes, and training.

Free for Life International worked to strengthen the law in Tennessee enabling victims to receive better services and strengthen the punishment for traffickers.

Free for Life International, in partnership with Doctors at War, produced the Multilingual Phrasebook, a tool for the identification of trafficking victims both in the United States and abroad. The phrasebook includes questions to identify trafficking victims in 47 different languages.

Free for Life International was awarded a grant from The Department of Health and Human Services, to bring innovation through partnership for education to combat trafficking in Nashville.

2011:
Free for Life International awarded 5 scholarships, rescued 72 girls, arrested 6 traffickers, and counseled 2,600 about the dangers of trafficking in Nepal.

Free for Life International was awarded this grant from The Department of Health and Human Services for the second time to continue their successful partnership toward education and the combating of trafficking in Nashville.

2012:
Free for Life International, along with PRC in Nepal, opened the very first border monitoring station in history on the Nepal / Tibet border. Between PRC and FFLI’s two border monitoring stations, 128 women and girls were rescued in 2012.

Free For Life International ended the partnership with the shelter in Nicaragua due to the government of Nicaragua closing small shelters.

2013:
Free for Life International launched a tailoring program in partnership with PRC in Nepal to provide rescued women with sustainable job skills.

120 women and girls were rescued and restored to freedom through Free for Life International and PRC’s border monitoring program.

2014:
Free for Life International launched a series of radio broadcasts titled “The Traffick Report” to educate individuals across the United States and in Middle Tennessee about the dangers of trafficking.

Free for Life and PRC rescued 186 lives from slavery and abuse at two locations on the border of Nepal.

2015:
Free for Life International, in partnership with PRC, rescued 123 girls from slavery and counseled over 1700 within the Nepali community on the dangers of trafficking.

2016:
Free for Life International successfully completed the first “Freedom Raid” on an Indian brothel – rescuing 11 girls and arresting 2 high profile traffickers.

Free for Life International and PRC transformed a home in Chitwan, Nepal into a brand new training facility nicknamed the “Happy Home.” Here, trafficking survivors will be trained in 3 vocational areas — tailoring, food processing and cosmetology to ensure sustainability in their new lives of freedom.

In total, Free for Life and PRC rescued 149 women and girls from trafficking situations in 2016.

To date, Free for Life International has helped to rescue and meet the needs of over 900 survivors of human trafficking globally.

Dig Deeper

Information and resources from Free for Life

Read about our Delhi raid that rescued 12 girls!

Our first raid in Delhi was incredibly successful.

Learn more about life in Nepal!

Take a  look at what life looks like in Nepal.