The Tel Aviv-based fashion label KitePride creates safe jobs for victims of forced prostitution and human trafficking who have left the sex industry.
There are around 14,000 sex workers in Israel, both women and men. Many of them want to escape the sex industry, but are held back by financial problems, a lack of employability, or the people who exploit them.
KitePride gives them a chance. They experience teamwork. They learn reliability, concentration and independence; and at the same time get a supportive environment and space to deal with their problems and trauma. Here they receive social and legal support and, ultimately, are prepared for the regular job market.
How it all started
Tabea Oppliger, founder of Kite Pride, met a woman from a “red-light” prostitution district, who touched her deeply.
She started to learn about human trafficking and met different people from the “scene.” Tabea organized a team of women, and in 2011 founded the association “GlowbalAct against human trafficking,” to fight against sexual exploitation. Matthias her husband had worked for 13 years with the police-force, and now suddenly, with her help, got to know the subject from another side.
“At some point our whole life came to revolve around the subject. We noticed that there was an economic problem behind it. Many women come from poor countries and precarious situations… we founded the first company in Tel Aviv, Israel.”
Products with history and meaning
In the KitePride production studio, fashionable bags are made from rescued, previously-used ocean sport fabric materials that were otherwise going to be thrown away as garbage.
Employees experience a work environment that is tailored to their needs and gives them back pride in what they do for making a living.
The beautiful, unique and sustainable bags from KitePride are made from high quality materials that normally would have been thrown away. But here, used yacht sails, parachutes and surf kites get the chance of a new life – a second wind.
And it is just the same for the people who work with these fabrics to “redeem” them. KitePride is one of the few companies in Israel that offers employment to people from rehabilitation centers and shelters. KitePride has so far given employment to 26 women and men.
Right now – in Corona times – 13 people work in the studio. Some are on part-time work. In the future the Ministry of Labor may be able to help finance this effort, allowing KitePride to offer even more in the way of training and jobs.
But for now, this hard work is possible through donors who believe in this ambitious vision of rescuing and transforming precious lives.
“It’s worth it! Somehow God always does open a door somewhere again,” says Matthias Oppliger.
We from Israel Today would like to support the KidePride project from the bottom of our hearts.
Donate now and be part of the answer in the fight against modern slavery!
As a special token of appreciation for your donation, we will send you an original, unique KitePride gym bag made in Israel!