“Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hands of the wicked” Psalm 82:4
How we started!
As an active supporter of various international projects to combat human trafficking, Kristin, one of the founders of IWIN, was largely unaware of the increasing and desperate need for action to combat the growth of the issue in her own country. She was interested to learn from a friend in Florida of a program there that supplies backpacks of basic necessities to survivors of human trafficking. Still, Kristin thought of human trafficking as more of an international issue. As a woman of faith, she began to sense God nudging her to learn about human trafficking in Canada and to take local action. Thus began her journey to understand the reality of human trafficking in Canada and the growing need to support survivors here. While attending a local human trafficking conference, Kristin felt the strong pulling of the Holy Spirit to speak to Paul, one of the people hosting the conference. She explained to him her idea of developing a backpack program in Calgary, similar to the program in Florida, and not only was Paul enthusiastic about the idea, he was actually a human trafficking investigator who was in the unique position of being able to implement a distribution system for the backpacks.
As Paul explains “As an investigator who has worked closely with survivors of human trafficking, across a broad spectrum, one thing that is common is that very few have something to call their own after they escape their trafficker. Often they have only the clothes on their back, and they certainly don’t have the resources to obtain more. When the idea of the IWIN Initiative was first brought up to me, I immediately recognized the need and the value it would provide. Virtually all of the organizations that help women heal are non-profits, yet the need for personal items is very real and a very real cost. With IWIN a portion of the cost associated with assisting survivors in their recovery is taken off the balance sheet, allowing them to redirect some funds to other areas that may need to be propped up. And the fact that each backpack comes with a handwritten note underlines to the recipient that they are indeed worth something and that there are people in society that do care about them. This is a concept that is foreign to most survivors; that someone will give them something and want nothing in return. The positive psychological benefits that result can’t be measured”.
The formation and continued success of IWIN is entirely thanks to the Holy Spirit who has led our team step by step to the key resources necessary to meet our needs. God does not call the equipped, he equips the called!
Did you know?
Of cases reported in Canada, only 25% reported physical injury at the hands of the trafficker, which speaks a great deal about the power of psychological restraint and control the traffickers possess over them.
IWIN has a diverse team of volunteers. If you are interested in joining our team, please fill out our volunteer form
IWIN Spiritual Advisor - Father John Nemanic
Father John has supported IWIN with prayer and advice since its inception in 2019. He continues to be our Spiritual Advisor and a key part of IWIN.
Founder & Coordinator - Kristin
I felt called to support survivors of human trafficking in Canada and thus founded IWIN in 2019. I feel so blessed to be able to support survivors and to raise awareness about this important issue.
Co-Founder, Distributions Coordinator and Police Service Liaison - Paul
As a former human trafficking investigator and educator, IWIN is an initiative that I believe very strongly in. It’s an opportunity for me to stay connected with the survivors, to provide a small measure of hope and faith to them, and to help educate others on the realities of human trafficking in Calgary and Canada.
Educational Liaison - Debbie
I am a grandmother of 5 and I look forward to the day when all peoples will be valued and respected. IWIN and the Catholic Women’s League give me the opportunity to do what I can now today to build a better future.
Catholic Women’s League Liaison - Bernice
I enjoy being the liaison between IWIN and Catholic Women’s League (CWL) Councils. In efforts to assist in ending Human Trafficking, IWIN meets all pillars of the CWL mandate, Faith, Service & Social Justice.
Catholic Women’s League Liaison Saskatoon - Diane
As a Saskatoon Diocese CWL member who has made connections with IWIN in Calgary and Hope Restored Canada in Saskatoon, I hope to serve as a liaison between our two provinces.
Catholic Women’s League Liaison Edmonton - Susan
Knights of Columbus Liaison - Bill
The first of four pillars of the Knights of Columbus is Charity. IWIN exemplifies this at its core. My experience in legal and intelligence work has provided me with exposure to all forms of human injustices. I believe that while we cannot solve the world's problems, we can make a difference to those that we touch. In addition to sitting on the Executive Board of the Alberta Knights of Columbus, I am a part of the Edmonton Eparchy Ukrainian Catholic clergy. I am married with two daughters and three grandchildren.
Secretary/Treasurer - Melanie
IWIN seeks not only to provide a few basic necessities but to give hope to survivors by letting them know that someone is thinking of and praying for them and that they are "worth it" and that they are not alone. I am truly blessed to be part of this amazing initiative!
Marketing & Communications Coordinator - Vacant
Backpack Assembly Coordinator - Aimee
I felt called to support human trafficking survivors in Canada after hearing Paul and a survivor talk about their experiences. I am married with two children and work full-time.
Red Sands Coordinator - Amy
I am honoured to be a part of IWIN. The foundational understanding that all of God's Children are worthy of love and respect is the core value that made me feel called to learn more and get involved. I am proud to be a part of this initiative.
Strategic Partnership Liaison - Elaine
I joined IWIN in the hopes that my skills will be of benefit to a group that has a very important role in service to those in need. The courage required by survivors of human trafficking will remain much stronger with the support of organizations such as IWIN that show all individuals are loved by God.