HOUSTON (FOX 26) - A United Nations Ambassador is in town joining Houstonians in the fight against human trafficking. One look at her face and it’s clear, Farah Zulaikha is also a model. Her latest ad with Tiffany and Company is stunning. So, is the kindness and concern in her heart.
"Unless we create a society where it's safe for survivors to seek help, imagine the people who live with the horror of what they went through and what happens is they say nothing and they live that way broken," Zalaikha says.
This beauty also quite often shows off her brains. Zulaikha is a professor, teaching a Human Trafficking Awareness class at Marist College in New York
"I started working in my first domestic violence shelter when I was about 15," she says.
In fact, her commitment to fighting abuse and human trafficking has earned her a title as a United Nations Ambassador. She runs the Farah Zulaikha Foundation.
"We take survivors of human trafficking. It's a full on residential campus, so first we give them counseling and help with detox," Zalaikha says.
Zulaikha is in Houston receiving an award for her work and collaborating with the nonprofit "Real Beauty Real Women", which has been battling violence and trafficking for more than a decade, since founder Jacquelyn Aluotto came up with a bright idea.
"I can merge celebrities and beauty and fashion in conscious campaigns, then we can get people more involved and make activism sexy and giving back glamorous,” explains Aluotto.
She has created what she calls the Innovation Hub in Downtown Houston where abuse and trafficking survivors receive resources, and there’s even a space where local artists sell what they make such as jewelry and clothing. The local designers also teach the domestic abuse and human trafficking victims how to do what they do.
“They learn to make clothes, jewelry, floral arrangements. While you're teaching them these skills, you're also teaching them about how you do marketing and budgeting,” explains Aluotto.
Now there are also beautiful bracelets filling the Innovation Hub. It’s a product with a purpose and is at the center of the Real Beauty Real Women new campaign called "Beauty Over Bondage". The goal is to sell the bracelets and unlock a society that comes together against abuse and trafficking.
"There's always strength in numbers,” smiles Zulaikha. You can show your support and buy a bracelet or join the cause at rbrw.org.