Among the many extraordinary women that stand out as beacons of light in our community, we find Michele Rickett, award-winning author, founder and CEO of She Is Safe – a nonprofit organization that, for almost two decades, has been dedicated to rescue, restore and equip girls and women victims of sex-trafficking and other forms of slavery in some of the countries where the issue is most prevalent: India, Indonesia, Middle East, Myanmar, Nepal and South Sudan.
It all started when Michele and her husband served as missionaries in Africa. While engaging her work, Michele witnessed the pervasive mistreatment and sale of girls. Michele had personally transcended commercial sexual exploitation as a child before being rescued as a teen. She was alarmed to see that families were offering up their girls into many forms of slavery. As she witnessed the repeated pattern of abuse, Michele started asking the local leaders, "what is being done to save these girls and women?" Those leaders connected her to a few African women who were advocating for girls and women to be free from abuse and slavery. Linking arms with local women became the solution.
That solution lit a fire in her heart. Someone needed to organize efforts and bring awareness at home and abroad about the prevalence, high risk locations and root causes of modern slavery (aka human trafficking). She dedicated herself to being a voice for girls and women. She Is Safe was born with the vision to see every at-risk girl safe and free to become what God created them to be.
Since 2002, She Is Safe's mission has been to prevent, rescue and restore women and girls from suffering abuse and exploitation in high-risk places, equipping them to build lives of freedom and faith for a strong future. She Is Safe currently works in places where women and girls are most often sold: India, Indonesia, Middle East, Myanmar, Nepal and South Sudan. The ministry partners with indigenous denominations and parachurch organizations, confronting the pervasive issues of sex trafficking and abuse of young girls and women. This results in a ripple effect of change for families and communities toward valuing girls as God’s image-bearers. These changes span generations rather than offering temporary fixes. Last year, She Is Safe programs directly benefitted 25,871 lives.
Michele has a special bond with the generous community of Alpharetta. It is here that many of the friends, supporters and staff of She Is Safe reside. Likewise, supportive members of the Alpharetta business community such as Bella Medspa and Kelly Finley Real Estate, as well as local churches such as Stonecreek church, have become crucial supporters through the years.
Among the many volunteer and fundraising activities She Is Safe offers the Alpharetta community each year, a stunning fundraising gala included a rooftop butterfly release at Avalon in October 2019.
"It was a beautiful moment!" Michele's broad smile translates her passion for the cause. "As the butterflies started flying to freedom, we invited our friends and supporters to ponder how their love for these women and girls across the world gives them new life. We cannot wait to do it again!"
For more information about their projects and find out how you can support and volunteer, visit sheissafe.org.