A Melbourne based Not for Profit registered Australian charity, The Bright Eyes Organisation works closely with established organizations at home and overseas who are dedicated to ending the sexual exploitation of girls and young women.
It funds these organizations to help provide shelter, food, clothing, counselling and education.
It also works with local authorities and their communities as an active voice to help prevent future abuse and exploitation. Bright Eyes shines a light for the most vulnerable people in the world.
And where there’s light, there’s hope.
The story of BrightEyes is the story of Karen Wren, its founder and CEO:
“I know firsthand what it’s like to live in fear every day, to hide from the world and feel like I don’t have a voice. I know what it feels like to be lost and isolated and not have anyone to reach out to for help and guidance through life’s challenges. I know what it’s like to feel invisible, to be invisible. As a child, I was very quiet. I was fearful of relationships and grew up very isolated. I had a family secret that weighed heavily on my shoulders. At home I was made to feel less than adequate every day. I was bullied and told I was stupid.
When you’re told your worthless every day you start to believe it and life soon becomes unbearable.
Teachers and community members would ask if I was alright and I had to say yes.
But the child in me would always hope they would see in my eyes that I needed help.
But no one ever did.
I used to be quiet but now when it comes to speaking up, I will. And through The Bright Eyes Organisation, I want to be what I needed most as a child: a voice for the voiceless. While I don’t have a victim mindset the fact is I was a victim of circumstance. There are many children and young women in the world who are victims of circumstance.
I am speaking about the issue of human trafficking.
Human trafficking is modern day slavery. It occurs when people are forced into exploitative situations for profit. Men, women and children are exploited for a wide range of purposes, including forced labour, sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and recruitment as child soldiers.
Trafficking is a hidden crime. It’s estimated nearly 21 million people are trafficked for profit worldwide today.
People are vulnerable to trafficking for a number of reasons, including lack of education and employment, discrimination and social isolation, and lack of protection by adults or social systems.
In India too, human trafficking is an issue of concern.
Trafficking of young girls is the second most prevalent trafficking crime in India and this problem isn’t going away. The number of young girls being trafficked increased by 65% in 2014, alone.
It’s a subject no one really likes talking about.
But how are we going to fix the problem if we don’t talk about it?
When I talk to people about human trafficking, their initial reactions are sympathy, horror and disbelief.
But unfortunately, these reactions are quickly swept to the dark corners of their minds, freeing them from any sense of responsibility for this horror. It’s easy to tell ourselves there’s nothing we can do to help.
That’s where Bright Eyes comes in.
I founded the charity in 2013 because I wanted to do two things: build greater awareness around child trafficking and be a positive light in the lives of children and young women.
I wanted to join hands with organisations, businesses and individuals to create safe havens for the people who need them most.
By working together we can support children and young women who have been or who are victims of abuse, exploitation and trafficking. To help them rebuild their lives, gain dignity and self-worth, and more importantly, show them they can believe again in hope and dreams.
You see, when a child’s been ‘broken’, the light of hope leaves their eyes.
It’s not until someone who believes in the child showing them life and love, that the light returns.
I learnt long ago I cannot rewind the clock on my childhood.
But with the assistance, care and support of the Bright Eyes board and
the many supporters of my vision, I can begin to make a difference to the children and young women I meet.
Because the Bright Eyes story isn’t really about me.
It’s about the many children and young women who have been or who are victims of abuse and exploitation.
They have a voice and deserve to be seen and heard.
Thank you for your ongoing support. I know together, we can make a difference.”
Founder & CEO
The BrightEyes Organisation
Phone: +61 419 155 758