Nonprofit organization, the Creativity Shell has partnered with the Harris County Department of Education, CASE for Kids, the Texas Commission on the Arts and the City of Houston to launch a special after-school sewing/textile arts program in low income schools dubbed the Human Trafficking Prevention Program or HTPP://.
The Creativity Shell teaches sewing/textile arts classes to students in their private studios, libraries, schools and shelters that rescue children from homelessness, trauma and human trafficking. Their classes are designed to educate and inspire children by teaching them essential life and practical skills.
Through feedback and conversations from student survivors in their programs at local shelters in Houston, the Creativity Shell has learned that at-risk and underserved children are easy prey for human traffickers. The promise of love, money, fame and a way out of their current life in often used by traffickers to lure and groom victims and traffickers are also lurking around in neighborhoods where children must walk to and from school as a way to get to know the children and groom them appropriately. Many of the young trafficking survivors in Creativity Shell programs were lured and groomed away from their homes and were sex trafficked by people they though they knew, loved and trusted.
Also, according to an article written by Marketwatch.com on July 28, 2019 about accused human trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, “The sexual-assault victimization rate among those from households making less than $7,500 is 12 times that of those making more than $75,000.” The article also added that “many of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged underage victims were “particularly vulnerable to exploitation – and research on sex-trafficking survivors bears out their claim.”
For these reasons, the Creativity Shell feels that it is essential to launch their new Human Trafficking Prevention Program (HTPP://). The idea of the HTPP:// is to reach out to elementary school students in an effort to teach them practical and fundamental skills before their weaknesses are exploited by human traffickers. By learning life and job readiness skills in Creativity Shell programs, students will grow up with skills such as sewing, cooking, money management, delayed gratification, self-confidence, self-esteem and more.
With a generous grant received from the Harris County Department of Education, Case for Kids, the TCA and the City of Houston, the Creativity Shell will be teaching after-school sewing/textile arts programs at the Wesley Center, C.Martinez Elementary School in Houston ISD as well as the Oaks Elementary School in Humble ISD. After-School classes will be available to students in these locations FREE of charge.
The Creativity Shell is hoping to arm students in low income neighborhoods with practical and fundamental skills through the programs they offer so if they are approached by traffickers, they will not be easily groomed.