Human trafficking survivors have a heightened risk of suicide. This is how we’re responding.

January 21, 2020 in News

Human trafficking survivors are at higher risk for suicide than the rest of the population. In the Philippines where 10ThousandWindows operates, this alarming trend is also true.

Staff at trafficking-specific shelters in the Philippines have reported that up to one-third of their clients have expressed suicidal ideation. The 10ThousandWindows team in Cebu has also witnessed a growing number of survivors of trafficking disclosing suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts to staff over the past year.

“As the senior technical advisor at 10ThousandWindows, I have witnessed non-mental health staff struggling to support clients in crisis on a near-weekly basis. Building the capacity of our staff in suicide prevention and intervention has been a critical priority in my work. Because of this, we pursued a partnership with Columbia University so that our staff can be trained by global experts in suicide prevention,” says Dr. Laura Cordisco Tsai.

Traumatic experiences that survivors face during human trafficking can lead to depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Post-trafficking, survivors often experience community stigmatization, poverty, and family pressure and conflicts. All of these can heighten an individual’s risk for suicide.

In the Philippines, mental health services are rare and stigmatized. There is also an insufficient number of trained mental health professionals and a lack of culturally adapted evidence-based interventions in the country.

To address this urgent need, 10ThousandWindows is partnering with Columbia University’s Global Mental Health Program in a groundbreaking new strategy to deliver suicide prevention in the Philippines through non-mental health professionals. 10ThousandWindows staff are being trained by Columbia faculty in the evidence-based suicide prevention intervention, the Suicide Safety Planning Intervention. Throughout the study, a suicide prevention program will be culturally adapted, and local staff capacity will be developed through a pilot program.

Columbia Suicide Intervention Training

Suicide Intervention Study leaders and participants from left to right: Dr. Laura Cordisco Tsai, Janice U., Dr. Milton Wainberg (Columbia University), Dr. Cady Carlson (University of Alabama), Rhea B., Dr. Terriann Nicholson (Columbia University)

As part of the study, 10ThousandWindows’ Philippines Deputy Country Director, Janice U., and Clinical Team Manager, Rhea B., traveled to the US for training with the Columbia team.

“What I appreciate most is the high level of support and encouragement everyone giving us in this project,” said Janice. “We are united in our goal of reaching out and helping each other in order to save lives.”

Rhea said that receiving training by leaders in the field of suicide prevention was important.

“I got to really learn from those who developed the Safety Planning Intervention,” said Rhea. “My training experience was a great learning opportunity and I look forward to integrating what I learned in our programs and processes.”

The study is co-led by Carr Center for Human Rights Policy Fellow and 10ThousandWindows Senior Technical Advisor Dr. Laura Cordisco Tsai, Dr. Milton Wainberg of Columbia University, and Dr. Catherine Carlson of the University of Alabama.

Lessons learned throughout the study and pilot program will be shared with other anti-trafficking organizations in order to improve the entire anti-slavery movement’s response.

16 survivors graduate from soft-skills training

November 19, 2019 in News

At the end of August, 16 victims of human trafficking, violence, and exploitation successfully completed soft-skills training. 10ThousandWindows celebrated their success with a graduation ceremony.

“Without the help of 10ThousandWindows, where would I be right now?” – Rania, skills-training graduate.

Completing soft-skills training through 10ThousandWindows is the first step in each survivor’s pathway to freedom. During the skills-training phase, victims of violence and exploitation connect with a career counselor, explore their hopes, dreams, and talents, and craft a career plan that they want to achieve.

The 16 survivors who completed skills training will now take another next step towards restoration: education and employment.

Your dedicated financial support helps each survivor every step of the way on their pathway to freedom.

“I am so grateful to 10ThousandWindows. Without it, I do not have the opportunity to change my life.” – Angelica, skills-training graduate.

Wildflowers book to feature stories of 10ThousandWindows survivors

November 19, 2019 in News

“10ThousandWindows and the job readiness training helped me a lot because if I look back at my life before – it’s not the same. Before, I had nowhere to go, I was just staying in our house in the slum. So when I come to think about it, I am very lucky.”

Jonnabel was introduced to 10ThousandWindows by a friend and graduate of our job-readiness training program, after a history of frightening encounters in both drug and human trafficking. Through our holistic, client-centered approach, Jonnabel was able to complete her degree in Mass Communications and land a job that was meaningful, dignified and well-paid. Excitingly, her story doesn’t end there, because we’re in it for the long-term.

You can read Jonnabel’s full story, and those of many others who have been impacted directly by the work of 10Thousand Windows by getting yourself a copy or two of Belinda Ramirez’s coffee table book, Wildflowers, which shares them alongside beautiful, dignified photography within its pages.

Please support the campaign to bring Wildflowers the book to print, by pre-ordering copies, selecting some great perks, or making a donation below before the 15th of December (otherwise you’ll miss out!): www.pozible.com/user/belinda-r 

Because when you support Wildflowers, you support 10ThousandWindows, with a portion of profits going to our economic empowerment program in the Philippines where survivors and those vulnerable to trafficking receive skills-training, career counseling, education scholarships, and job readiness training.

We are seeing people’s lives, in fact, whole communities transform before our eyes – and can’t wait for you to see it yourself in the pages of Wildflowers.

Support the campaign today by setting up an account on pozible, searching for Wildflowers and donating to the cause: www.pozible.com/user/belinda-r 

We’re hiring

October 24, 2019 in News

10ThousandWindows is hiring!

Are you the right person to join our team as the 10ThousandWindows Development Coordinator?

The Development Coordinator will assist 10ThousandWindows’ Executive Director primarily with fund development-related activities as well as providing administrative support to the Fund Development Team.


  • Strong administrative and organizational skills
  • Ability to multitask, work independently, and meet deadlines
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Strong communication skills (oral and written)
  • Commitment to continuous improvement
  • Sense of humor
  • Bookkeeping/accounting competence is a plus, but not required

For more details and how to apply, view the full job description.  

5 Ways Your Generosity Sets Survivors Like Rose Up for Workplace Success

August 16, 2019 in News

When Rose* stepped through the doorway of the 10ThousandWindows Philippines office, she was anxious and concerned about her future. After being trafficked for sex, her trauma lingered and her economic situation remained dire. Mostly, she worried about caring for her child.

“I urgently need a job to provide for my son and contribute at home,” she told her 10ThousandWindows career counselor the day she started workplace skills training. “I want a full-time job that provides for my needs and the needs of my family. I feel pressure to work.”

Thankfully, this is just the start of Rose’s story with 10ThousandWindows.

In late May this year, Rose and 29 other survivors of human trafficking, violence, and exploitation started workplace skills training at 10ThousandWindows. One of the biggest challenges for survivors in finding and sustaining safe, well-paid work is having workplace skills that employers expect. Without crucial communication, teamwork, and time management skills, it is difficult, if not impossible for survivors to succeed in a new job.

Through your support, Rose is gaining the workplace skills she needs to get safe, well-paid work, and provide for her young child.

5 Ways Your Generosity Sets Survivors Like Rose Up for Workplace Success

Support every step of the way

The moment Rose walked through the 10ThousandWindows door, she was paired with a Career Counselor who will stick with her every step of the way. This level of support makes an enormous difference for survivors who have often lacked supportive family and social networks.

Setting goals and taking action

When Rose arrived at 10ThousandWindows, she felt helpless and broken from the abuse she had experienced. She still has a hard time believing that her life can change. But, working with her career counselor, Rose is starting to see glimmers of hope. This happens as she sets goals for her life and creates an action plan that puts her on the pathway to a good job that will help her care for her son.

Workplace skills the labor market demands.

To ensure survivors like Rose learn the skills they will need to successfully find and sustain a good job, 10ThousandWindows talks with businesses and employers about what they expect from their staff. We also ask survivors themselves what they wish to learn to feel more confident in their job search.

Opportunities for Education Scholarships

The minimum education required to get a good job is rising. Often, a high school diploma at the very least is needed to find safe and well-paid work. After Rose completes her 12-week workplace skills training at 10ThousandWindows, she will have the chance to apply for academic scholarships to finish high school, college, and vocational training.

Part of a community

Rose will find it far more rewarding to pursue challenging goals and take bold and brave steps towards her dreams if a cheering squad is pushing her on. As a 10ThousandWindows’ survivor, Rose is now folded into a community of support that will help her every step of the way on her pathway to safety, freedom, and hope.

*Pseudonym to protect survivor privacy

What a good job really means for survivors

July 23, 2019 in News

A good job is more than ‘just’ a job. For a survivor of human trafficking, violence, or exploitation, a good job is a window of opportunity for a hopeful future.

Not only does a good job enable survivors to take care of their basic necessities like safe housing, nutritious food, medical care, and children’s education, it goes deeper.

A well-paid job helps survivors build confidence, gain dignity, and start to dream, plan and save for their future.

A good job leads to freedom.

Reflecting Dignity, Empowerment, and Listening: Revising Success Metrics for 10ThousandWindows

May 23, 2019 in News

Right now at 10ThousandWindows, we’re revising how we measure success in our work with survivors of violence and exploitation. To do this, we’re working with Dr. Laura Cordisco Tsai, a global expert in economic empowerment, to identify and define new success metrics.


Why this Matters

Before joining 10ThousandWindows, I spent 10 years working at a foundation that supported organizations like ours. At the foundation, we wanted to help organizations understand the impact they were having with survivors. Over time, we learned that if we’re going to discuss what success is for survivors, we should probably ask survivors themselves.

It seems obvious, doesn’t it?

But unfortunately, it’s not common enough for organizations to include their clients in these conversations.

At 10ThousandWindows, we’re trying to approach this differently. We are including the survivors we work with to identify and define what success means for our work.

This paper describes the first stage in our efforts to do this.

Jeremy Floyd, Executive Director, 10ThousandWindows.

Download the Full Report

From Labor Trafficking to a Stateside Internship

May 6, 2019 in News
10ThousandWindows client, Daniel, on an internship at Busch Gardens in Virginia.

When Daniel received word that he’d been accepted for an internship in the United States, he could hardly believe his good fortune.

And this time, it wasn’t too good to be true.

As a teen, Daniel, like many other Filipino youth, followed the siren call for work in Manila only to end up being trafficked and exploited. He was referred to 10ThousandWindows for education and employment support.

Over the past four years, Daniel has worked tirelessly towards his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration on a 10ThousandWindows scholarship. His hard work and the steadfast support of 10ThousandWindows staff have made his stateside internship possible.

“This experience has had a big, big, big impact on me. To have an internship in the most beautiful, progressive and powerful country in the world is a big opportunity for me. Not everyone is given a chance. For me, this is a big achievement.”

– Daniel, 10ThousandWindows Client currently on internship at Busch Gardens in Virginia.

During Daniel’s fourth-month internship at Busch Gardens in Virginia, he has been a park operator. While he’s enjoyed his job and meeting new friends from different countries and cultures, Daniel is also aware of how this opportunity will impact his future.

“When I finish this program, I will have practiced my English skills and improved my self-confidence. It will impact my future career because when applying for jobs, experience is the number one qualification. My experience here in USA is an asset.”


Daniel’s story is featured in the 10ThousandWindows 2018 Annual Report along with other victories and inspiring stories. 

Highlights: Our 2018 Annual Report

April 9, 2019 in News

We have launched our 2018 Annual Report! It highlights the victories, inspiring stories, and impact you made possible for survivors of violence and exploitation last year. 

As you read through the highlights and then the full report, we hope you’ll remember that every success story was made possible with your support.

Say Hello to Our New Philippines Staff!

April 2, 2019 in News

10ThousandWindows is thrilled to welcome Celia and Shimey to the Philippines team.

Celia (left) and Shimey recently joined the 10ThousandWindows Philippines team in the Work Immersion Program.

Celia, left, our Work Immersion Program (WIP) Counselor will guide and coach clients as they become job-ready.  Shimey, our newly hired WIP Coordinator, will cultivate partnerships with training centers, businesses, and other organizations to provide practical, hands-on, lived experience for clients.

Just the other week, Celia and Shimey joined Glory, Riza , and Sue, other recent 10ThousandWindows staff hires for Motivational Interviewing training to be better equipped to respond to the needs of survivors of violence and exploitation.