There are some things in this world that we try to hide from. We just can’t seem to emotionally cope with certain realities. Does that make them any less true? Diana Mao is the type of person who can handle facing a harsh reality and instead of hiding her eyes she embraces those who are suffering. She is weeping with those who weep. Diana is seeking to harness the power of market forces to empower those who are survivors of sexual trafficking and slavery. I know you were going to try to have a good time today and now your thinking about something sad. Well, you can be happy when you are a part of solutions. In our own small part we can be a part of the solution. I don’t know Diana all that well, but I can say one thing about her – she is joyful. What’s not to be joyful about knowing that you are giving yourself fully to be a part of the solution to a horrific issue? So I thank Diana for helping me to see more clearly what it means to be a human being.
The following is a short interview with Diana Mao the founder of Nomi Network.
S E What would you like to share about your journey in establishing Nomi network.
D M The journey has been a amazing! I have met some of the most amazing people who truly believe that slavery can be eradicated in our generation! I am humbled by their efforts and excited that Nomi Network is a part of the solution. Although the journey has not been easy, my passion for God and the eradication of slavery has fueled my efforts and the late nights I spend working on the Nomi Network dream.
S E How did you decide to start Nomi network?
D M I have always had a heart for this issue but encountered it first hand where I conducted research for FINCA International and interviewed micro-finance clients who make less than $1 a day. During my visit to a remote village a father tried to offer me his daughter because he could not provide for his other children. Desperation is the breeding ground for human trafficking. When I got back from Cambodia, I decided that I needed to take action. First, I started a “prayer for the nations” meeting, where I and other like-minded individuals prayed for Cambodia as well as other countries. Then, I decided that it was time to take action. There was already a pool of individuals who were just as passionate as me to start Nomi Network.
S E What kinds of organization and people are you looking to partner with?
DM 1 – people who are passionate about ending human trafficking and who possess skills in marketing, product design, business development, finance and international development. 2 – companies that aim to produce a line of slave free products – social enterprises that have the capacity and potential to produce high quality products and currently employ survivors or vulnerable women 3- non-profits that have the same vision of a world without slavery
S E What would you like to share with other young visionaries considering taking a similar step?
D M Be ready to sacrifice – Try your best and God will do the rest – Do not take “no” for an answer – You might not see immediate results, but be faithful with your efforts and it will make a difference – Collaboration and information is necessary if we want to see systematic change – I read an article from a business school that said, “vision is what drives an organization”. You already have the hard part down: it’s the vision, so now it is just about taking action.