Starting a non-profit has many similar challenges very similar to starting a business, so I felt an immediate kinship with Marianna Kosharovsky, the Founder and Executive Director of ALIGHT (Alliance to Lead Impact in Global Human Trafficking). She started ALIGHT after doing pro-bono legal work for Russian and Ukrainian trafficking survivors while at a high-powered NYC law firm (because she speaks Russian). Her idea was to help more survivors faster by using a smartphone application to match survivors with lawyers, who are volunteering their time and expertise … kind of like Lyft. It makes so much sense, eliminates a lot of the back and forth and save so much time. Many survivors are matched in a few hours to a few days versus months without using tech.
Unfortunately, grants and donations are given based on number of people impacted – and with human trafficking, so many things need to happen for a survivor to ask for legal help and feel supported in the process ... so the numbers are small, but the impact is big. Legal rights affect a person’s whole life, ranging from getting custody of their kids to getting control over their financial life again.
I applaud for how scrappy Marianna and ALIGHT have been because she believes in the mission, knows the power of the law and is savvy to use technology as an enabler. And this is why I’ve chosen to support ALIGHT and Marianna.