As a continuation of our Success Stories series, I recently had the privilege of sitting down with Brad and Monnica Manuel, co-founders of Operation61, a non-profit organization dedicated to the eradication of human trafficking to talk about their organization and their thoughts on building a successful non-profit.
When did you first become aware of human trafficking?
Monnica: We had heard little pieces here and there. One trigger was the movie, “Taken,” which made us start asking more questions, doing more research. We originally had the mindset that it was a third world country issue. There are 27 million slaves worldwide (that includes sex slaves and labor slaves). Then we began to break it down to what’s happening here domestically. Somewhere between 100,000 and 300,000 children are sexually exploited in the United States every year. We wondered if it was happening in Utah. We found out that there are organizations that are assisting victims right here in our own backyard.