Imprint Project Kicks Off!

Learning to sew on first day of Imprint Project

Learning to sew on first day of Imprint Project

This week kicks off the Imprint Project! We are so excited about this new program, for so many reasons.

The Imprint Project is new, but the concept is based off one of CGI’s original programs called CGI Daughters. In this program, formerly-trafficked and at-risk girls in Cambodia learned sewing skills and practical life skills while living in a type of “safe house.”

The Imprint Project is a bit different. We wanted a more holistic approach, one that includes contact with the families of each participant. One of the biggest challenges to overcoming the pull toward the sex industry is making sure young girls aren’t feeling pressure from their families to earn quick money. The Imprint Project will allow more involvement in the day-to-day circumstances of participants’ families by employing social workers to check in. This will build trust between CGI and the families of each girl in our program, giving them greater support and chances for success. All of the girls in the current—and very first—class of the Imprint Project are formerly trafficked.

A lot of hard work has gone into developing the curriculum. Like CGI Daughters, the Imprint Project will teach sewing skills and the girls will produce the Imprint Collection, which is a clothing line you can purchase through The program is also intensely mentor-based, with focus on spiritual formation and practical life skills. We believe that hope and freedom come not just from vocational skills, but by knowing how to make good choices in life and ultimately, by knowing Jesus.

Please pray with us for the Imprint Project and this first group of girls who are part of it. May God continue to give opportunities to reach into the hearts and lives of those with a dark past.

By Caroline Mosey

(So Much) More than a Fashion Statement

My name is Lindsey Green, and I am the intern for CGI working under the lovely Kristen Baynai and Whitney Vance. I get to assist with CGI events and connect with byTavi and Imprint reps. I’m also the assistant manager at JenDaisy boutique in Greenwood, where Friday, October 25th we will launch the Imprint clothing line in our boutique!


Jenny Russell (JenDaisy owner) and our staff are excited to introduce an affordable and stylish fair trade clothing line to JenDaisy customers. We strongly believe in the mission CGI has to empower the poor in Cambodia. Each article of clothing in this line shares a story of restoration and hope that will serve as a conversation-starter to raise awareness on extreme poverty and human trafficking.


I was able to travel to Cambodia four years ago where I met the beautiful ladies and talented seamstresses in CGI’s programs. For four years now they have held a special place in my heart, and I would have never imagined the opportunities I would have to share their stories. Even though I am thousands of miles away from Cambodia, CGI has kept me connected to these women. Having this line at JenDaisy will impact families in Cambodia and I am so thankful for that, but these women have truly impacted me greatly as well. I feel blessed to be a part of the Imprint launch and combine my passion for these women and fashion into one big picture.









By Lindsey Green

The Luxury of Making Choices

Photo by Aimee Davis

Photo by Aimee Davis

I caught malaria once. It came during a season when I was a missionary serving overseas among the poor. To this day, I’m not sure how or when I contracted the disease. I simply remember the pain and fatigue which overwhelmed me for weeks until I did one crucial thing.

I bought medicine—a tiny pack of four pills costing the equivalent of eight dollars.

This action seems logical, and indeed, it was. What complicated it was my awareness that the majority of those I was ministering to would have died long before being able to afford the life-saving treatment.

Yet my understanding of this, as well as hundreds of conversations with the poor, made poverty no less easy to define. Initially it was a lack of money, space, and resources, and certainly the poor experience the deprivation of such. However, poverty encompasses much more than physical shortages. Rather, to be poor is to dwell in an existence without options and in circumstances without escape.

Quite frankly, the poor do not have the luxury of making choices.

Photo by Aimee Davis

Photo by Aimee Davis

As a believer, I can’t help but consider the greater significance in having the ability to choose. The Bible’s first book gives witness to Adam and Eve roaming the confines of Eden with opportunities at their fingertips. To name this, to go there, to eat that; this remarkable human propensity to make decisions existing before the fall of humankind signifies divine approval. Perhaps free will is a significant and foundational component of not only what it means to be human, but also what it means to be in perfect communion with God.

So what does this mean for us, and more importantly, for Cambodia? It means ushering individuals and families into communion with God again through restoring choices to the poor. And this restoration is what CGI is passionately pursuing.

Photo by Sonja Overhiser

Photo by Sonja Overhiser

For the most vulnerable women and girls of Cambodia,it means. . .

– she can choose to send her brother to school tomorrow because of the meal she cooked at the Green Mango Café tonight.
– she can choose to accept a higher paying position because of the fluent English she learned as a cgiDaughter.
– she can choose to buy the medicine that will save her mother’s life because of the purse she sewed for byTavi.

She can choose.

Think about those words. Then join CGI in the fight for the poor and for their freedom to choose.

by Bethany Rivera

Meet Joanna Goodwin!

ImageThe loving hands of 150+ state-side volunteers like Joanna Goodwin make CGI’s byTavi program possible. Raised in a Christian home, Joanna participated in mission work in Moscow, Russia and Honduras. Because of her love for God’s people, Joanna attended the 2011 North American Missionary Convention where she first encountered byTavi. She was so awed by the story behind the beautiful products that she was soon loaning out her personal purse to spread the word.

Within a year, Joanna hosted over 15 events and became one of byTavi’s most valuable sales representatives. Like many in the Bible, Joanna’s story isn’t one of an extraordinary woman with special training, but one of a God-loving, passionate mother of twins who fell in love with Tavi’s story. Since then she has blessed many women with her heart.

In March Joanna hosted byTavi staff Whitney Vance and Kristen Baynai in Atlanta for a weekend of shows and the opportunity to speak in her church, Galilee Christian Church. As relationships continue to grow in Georgia, byTavi is blessed by the love and support of Joanna (and husband Mark) and her parents John and Karen Dressler. Her friends Tonya Moore of Cornelia Christian Church and newly recruited byTavi Rep Samantha Depue have also been very influential in helping her spread the word. Please pray for Joanna as she moves forward with new partners and relationships in 2013. God is building byTavi all over the country, and we are so blessed by His work and those who work with Him.

My Sister Tavi

Tavi & Tasha in workshop 2My sister died of cancer the day before I was scheduled to leave for Cambodia. While my heart broke, I knew it would honor her memory to go there to see what I could do to empower the poor and prevent human trafficking. My sister and I both shared a passion for this area of brokenness. Each of us felt compelled to be a voice for the voiceless or those who have been silenced. She was a speaker, author, and activist who used her voice to bring attention to women’s issues. Her death inspired me to live my life leaving no stone unturned to help the poor, abused, and marginalized. She’s my inspiration to live with passion and to fuel the fire in my heart to love God, love others, and invite others to join God’s mission.

When I met Tavi, we instantly connected. I just LOVED her! I felt like I had known her my entire life.  I’m sure this came from God. It was mutual. We spent time together in her home with her children as well as in the byTavi workshop. She shared her heart, telling me how she lost both her husband and daughter to AIDS and how Center for Global Impact (CGI) had helped her learn a skill. Now with the income from making purses, she could send each of her kids to school and purchase needed medicine to help her stay well as she also has AIDS. Tavi also shared about the pride she has in her home. She was able to replace her mud floor with a cement one, which significantly improved her living conditions. When we finished talking, she asked:  “Will you be my sister?”At Tavi's home

Tavi didn’t know my sister had just died. She didn’t understand how her question impacted me. We both cried as we agreed to be sisters. Tavi, my sister in Christ, has been empowered through CGI’s byTavi program. Her life will never be the same, and her story inspires me to share byTavi so that others like her can provide for themselves and their families in a healthy way.

Chains are being broken. Lives are being healed. The gospel is being shared, and Christ is being revealed in Cambodia. Daughters are no longer sold into human trafficking because mothers have a professional skill that provides for their families. What a blessing to be a part of what God is doing in Cambodia! He is at work. Who would have thought that by buying a purse, you could change a life?  Amazing!

To live is Christ. . .

Tasha Simons

When Evil Prevails. . .

DSC_0419“All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.”

I first heard this quote when teaching the play, The Diary of Anne Frank, to eighth graders at Greenwood Middle School. Nineteenth century British statesman Edmund Burke’s observation certainly applied to Hitler’s regime and the Holocaust of the 30’s and 40’s.

This same idea of doing nothing haunts me now when I think about human trafficking. In the areas where CGI works, it is very common for families, mothers and fathers to traffick their daughters in order to put food on the table. As CGI president and founder Chris Alexander often notes, “Most of the world is just one crisis away from making a bad decision.”

The above photo was taken outside a Beer Garden/Karaoke Bar in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Though these girls seem “of age”, CGI has seen girls as young as 5-years-old being exploited for sex.

The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking (UN-GIFT) estimates that 2.5 million people worldwide are in forced labor (including sexual exploitation) with 56% happening in Asian and Pacific countries.

Meet the victims:

• The majority of trafficking victims are between 18 and 24 years of age.

• An estimated 1.2 million children are trafficked each year.

• 95% of victims experienced physical or sexual violence during trafficking (based on data from selected European countries).

• 43% of victims are used for forced commercial sexual exploitation, with 98 per cent women and girls.

• 32% of victims are used for forced economic exploitation, of whom 56 per cent are women and girls.

• Many trafficking victims have at least middle-level education

Let’s not be guilty of walking by the problem and looking the other way.

By Joyce Long / photo: Jocelyn Post

Fighting for Their Smiles

DSCN1183My name is Vanessa Alexander. I’m a sophomore at the University of Indianapolis studying Social Work with a minor in Child and Youth Programs.  About six years ago my life was changed when I was exposed to the injustice of human trafficking.  Since then I have been blessed to have some awesome experiences that have grown my passion for fighting this injustice.  In high school I wanted to be a fashion designer, but as my dad opened my eyes to the horrors of this injustice, proving that something could be done, I decided to rethink how to spend my life.

When my dad founded Center for Global Impact (CGI), God started an amazing work. Two summers ago I had the opportunity to travel with CGI on a vision trip to Cambodia. My heart was filled with joy as I saw the faces of the precious young girls and sweet women working at seamstress workshops.  It once again solidified that I knew God was calling me to fight for their smiles!  In the past two years, I unfortunately haven’t been able to return to Cambodia but have been blessed to still stay connected with CGI.  Now I spend a few hours each week working in the CGI office.  Let me tell you…I LOVE IT! I have learned so much.

KEYS PictureMy best friend Lindsey has the same heart for the impoverished suffering from injustice. She also traveled to Cambodia whenI went two summers ago.  God grew our friendship and our passions in a way that prepared us to come to the University of Indianapolis as advocates against human trafficking.  Little did we know God was also working in five other students. Our paths soon crossed. Because of our passion about raising awareness for human trafficking, we decided to start Keys, a registered UIndy student organization focused on the injustice of human trafficking. So far we’ve shared what human trafficking means in each dormitory as well as selling byTavi products! Next semester I hope to be a “Campus Rep” for CGI, which will allow me to help more people get involved in fighting human trafficking.

As I reflect on the last few years, I realize how God has changed me, but never would I have expected Him to open so many doors. Human trafficking has recently become a hot topic. Yet, I think about how many people said, “No, I don’t know what it is.” I know I am not the only twenty-year-old who is hungry to make a difference. Sometimes it’s just hard to see that a difference can be made with statistics like twenty-seven million people currently trapped in slavery. CGI is making that number not look so daunting.  I know specific names of women and young girls who are having their lives changed. That is why I want to devote my life to fighting for these girls.  This year my goal is to make it known that YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.  It doesn’t matter if you are only 20 years old. You can change the world.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young,

but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

—1 Timothy 4:1

A Future of Hope

photo (1)When I was at the workshop yesterday, Sokheng (the older woman seated on the left) asked if her two nieces and their cousin could be included in the byTavi program.  I told her she should ask Nary, who had already sent her to me.  This led to the three of us, plus Vibol, sitting down to talk.  Apparently all three girls arrived from the countryside on Monday.  They were sent to the city by family to stay with Sokheng and work in a factory.  Both Sokheng and Nary fear that without a safe network these girls will be taken advantage of by factory supervisors.  The girls are not here by their choice.  They are petrified, and they do not want to work at the factory.  The youngest is 16.  Knowing the risk Sokheng and Nary asked if they could be a part of byTavi.  Long story short, we now have three new seamstresses-in-training.

In many ways this story represents why byTavi exists.  We can help these girls and create a situation where they can help their families.  We can prevent them being forced into a high-risk situation and place them in a healthy multi-generational, Christ-centered environment.  The future for these three girls is now full of hope and potential.
Until ALL have heard,

El Dinosaurio (“The Dinosaur” for those who don’t read Spanish)

So I was reading an article in the South Korean newspaper on the final leg of my journey to Cambodia.  It began with the sentance “Cuando desperto, el dinosaurio todavia, estaba alli”.  Somehow it just a little unnerving to read a Spanish sentance in an English version of a Korean newspaper!  But alas it did catch my attention.  The article, written by Hugo Dixon, was all about the economic crisis in Spain and Italy and the steps being taken to support the euro.  And while I am not going to blog about the serious economic crisis in Europe and potential ramifications to the global poor I do want to comment on his leading sentance. Translated into English it simply reads … “Upon waking, the dinosaur was still there.”

After breakfast this morning and before my first meeting with the CGI Cambodian team I had an opportunity to quickly read through the English version of yesterday’s edition of the Phnom Penh Post. The article that caught my attention was entitled “Teenager Allegedly Sex Slave”.  The article follows the photo …


“Police have pulled a 15-year-old girl and her parents in for questioning over allegations the girl is being kept as a virtual sex slave in her families home in Banteay Meanchey province, where her parents had chained her legs to a bench to prevent her from escaping, police said yesterday.  The horrific allegations, which are being investigated by rights group Adhoc, were refuted by the girls parents, who claim their daughter is simply being locked inside the house for her own well-being.  Neighbor Khieve Bory told the Post yesterday he had visited the girl’s family last week and saw that she had been restrained in shackles.  “The girl told me that her parents forced her to work, to be a beggar and to have sex with foreign men since she was 13 years old.” he said, adding that the girl had allegedly been shackeled by her parents after her eighth attempt to flee and escape their abuse.  Her story was reported in a local newspaper that quoted her as saying her parents had forced her to have sex with French and Thai nationals and they has also trafficked her to Thailand’s Sakeo province, where she was kept to work as a prostitute.  Soum Chankea, provincial Adhoc coordinator, said yesterday that Adhoc was investigating after receiving information form villagers and seeing photos of the girl.  The girl’s father, Nuth Meoun, yesterday denied the acts described by his daughter, but admitted he was keeping her locked inside their house for her own security as she had been sneaking out at night to hang out with friends.  “We do not put the leg cuffs on her any more, we just lock her in the house and sleep with her every night,” Meoun told the Post.  “She just accused us, but we parents are angels to look after our children, so why would we force our beloved child to be a whore?”  he asked angrily before hanging up on the reporter.  Um Sophal, Poipet town police chief, said yesterday that his men are investigating the situation, but that he could confirm she was no longer chained up.  “We will keep investigating and watching the girl’s family because we are afraid the parents might do something bad to the girl after [police] left.” he said.

Please note that while these parents must be considered innocent until proven guilty there is much in this article to be concerned about.  This stuff does happen. It happens to the poor and the powerless every day.  Upon waking, I discovered again, that the dinosaur is still here!