In 2007, Jesse Bach traveled to Nepal to volunteer with Nepal Orphans Home. That first year he spent a month in Western Nepal working with girls rescued from the Kamlari system (child slavery/indentured servitude). During that time he had a striking revelation. These children aren’t statistics, they are people and they need help.
Jesse returned to America changed, dedicated to helping the children who had given him a new outlook on life. Through a simple twist of fate and a missed Yoga class a very good friend of his; Candace Koslen pointed him in the right direction.
That first attempt was a whirlwind, recruiting a mass of volunteers from the Yoga community of Greater Cleveland and only two months after Jesse’s return, there was a benefit held to honor the work of Nepal Orphans Home. That first year enough money was raised to provide for “The Cleveland 15″ a group of girls rescued from the Kamlari system. They were moved in to the Kalpana house within the Nepal Orphans Home system. Kalpana translated from Nepali means Imagine. It was an amazing honor to have a home named after our efforts.
There have been quite a few fund and awareness raising events since then, and there will be more to come. As long as there are children forced into servitude, Imagine will work to be their voice. We will continue to raise funds and awareness to provide for their well being, to peacefully fight for their freedom.
The problem is big and there are many hurdles to overcome; We ask you though to Imagine all the children, the children who need our help. The children who will someday grow up to help others. Imagine What’s possible if we just try.
Our timeline and accounting:
If you have ever been curious to what happens behind the scenes:
Our first fundraiser called Imagine, to benefit Nepal Orphans Home, held at Eton Collection in Woodmere Ohio and sponsored by New Image Photography. Our efforts raised $15,571. Shortly after that Nepal Orphans Home established The Kalpana (Imagine) House in Dhapasi, Kathmandu Nepal. 15 girls were rescued from the Kamlari system, and moved into the house and affectionately dubbed “The Cleveland 15″.
Teaming with John Carroll University and Dr. Sarah VanSlette a variety of student fundraisers were held raising $3833.71 for Nepal Orphans Home.
An outdoor Yoga practice was held at Wendy Park, it was a beautiful lake front day and raised $3520.00 given directly to Nepal Orphans Home
The second Imagine fundraiser was held at Eton Collection in Woodmere Ohio and sponsored by New Image Photography. It raised $14,855 an additional $3000 in donated cash was hand carried by Jesse Bach to Nepal Orphans Home and given to Michael Hess of Nepal Orphans Home to purchase Christmas presents for all the children.
A variety of small functions and The Wendy Park outdoor Yoga practice was able to raise $7217.68 for Nepal Orphans Home
Several individuals donated an additional $2200, destined to construct a playground on the grounds of Nepal Orphans Home. Playground was completed in August 2010
Yoga for Freedom had 15 participants each paying $1750.00 for a guided Yoga trip of Nepal. Of the $22,650 which was brought in from the program fee $13,740 went to costs of guides, food transportation etc… That generated an overall donation of $12,510 to Nepal Orphans Home. Each participants program fee gave $834 to Nepal Orphans Home as a donation to care for a rescued child, roughly the cost to support that child for an entire year!
In May of 2010 Imagine officially filed paperwork with the US Treasury Department to register as a 501c3 charity known as The Imagine Foundation.
Our 501c3 paperwork was accepted and dated retro-active to May 2010. We are officially incorporated as “The Imagine Foundation”. Our board of directors adopts our goal which is “To spread awareness and promote solutions for ending child slavery worldwide.
Beyond Love Yoga practice. Yoga instructor, spiritual activist Parker Bean holds a benefit Yoga practice in conjunction with Lululemon, Cleveland. Through this practice we were able to give a $1200.00 grant to Nepal Orphans Home to care for children rescued from the Kamlari system.
The Abolitionists Handbook 2011:
During 2011 The Imagine Foundation began to film a documentary entitled “The Abolitionists Handbook” with Cleveland Groove. The documentary hopes to bring a voice to the voiceless and present the audience with solutions for ending slavery and trafficking. Throughout the documentary the Abolitionists Handbook crew is meeting with well established Anti-Slavery and Anti-Human Trafficking organizations and trafficked survivors to learn how to become Abolitionists. There is no set date for release.
May 2011: In May The Imagine Foundation began a research project to investigate Commercial Sex and Human Trafficking in N.E. Ohio. It is a 3 month commitment and we are writing and publishing the report in conjunction with Operation Broken Silence of Memphis, Tennessee. We also had an amazing time solidifying ties with the Yoga World at The Midwest Yoga Conference, passing out over 1000 drop cards containing information on Human Trafficking and Slavery. We ended the month on a high note with our annual #Freedomisviral outdoor Yoga practice at Wendy Park. We had appx. 40 people in attendance.
At the Midwest Yoga Conference we sold 19 shirts at $20.00 = $390.00
At The Freedom is Viral outdoor Yoga practice we 7 shirts at $20.00 (one for ten oops) $130.00 We also received $403.00 in donations from individuals participating in the Yoga Practice.
We also received $2400.00 in donations from two private donors.
Money received will be used to fund and disperse research on Human Trafficking in Cleveland, Ohio as well as fund awareness raising campaigns such as drop cards, post cards and psa announcements regarding Human Trafficking and Slavery.
October 1st, 2011. The Imagine Foundation released The Cleveland Backpage report. A collaborative with Operation Broken Silence to study into commercial sex and Internet sex trafficking in Cleveland, Ohio. Our findings were well received being covered on both local and national media.
May 19 2012: The Imagine Foundations 80′s throwback prom. To fund project SAFE (an educational project aimed at High School Students) we had a friend-raiser at Reddstone in Cleveland, Ohio. Tickets & t-shirts were sold & funds are earmarked for SAFE.
In The Future:
The Imagine Foundation will continue to support and to investigate new organizations and individuals which coincide with our goal to spread awareness and promote solutions for ending child slavery worldwide. We hope to recruit new, energized volunteers who are interested in learning about and ending domestic slavery and trafficking.