PWAP is a student lead initiative that hosts charity gala events for young people in the GTA. Our team is passionate about issues of poverty, oppression and justice in our world and we believe that as Christians we are called to make a difference.
Prom with a Purpose has three main goals. First, we aim to raise awareness and learn together about sex trafficking within Ontario and around the world. Second, we raise funds to support organizations that combat human trafficking, locally in the GTA and on a global level. And third, want to develop student leaders by providing valuable experiences, education, and skills that can be applied as advocates within their community.
To date, PWAP has raised over $20,000 for IJM Canada, U R Home, BridgeNorth, Rahab Ministry, and The Mekong Club.
PWAP was created out of Bethany Nolson's passion to serve the vulnerable while also addressing the consumerist nature of the high school prom season. She wanted to provide students with an opportunity to give back to those in need while addressing the issue that so much money is spent on prom events each year. Graduating students can easily spend upwards of $700 or more on prom related expenses. PWAP addressed this by providing an “alternate” prom-like event that re-directs the focus from consumerism to generosity.
We, as a team, decided that we wanted to focus on an issue that affects other young people around the world. We settled on the issue of sex trafficking and in 2014, Bethany and the first PWAP team led our first event, Into the Night: A Prom with a Purpose, which raised over $3000 for IJM and Rahab Ministry.
"There are more people enslaved today that at any other time in human history."
That statement is haunting and when I first read it over five years ago, it forever changed my life. There are between 27 and 30 million people enslaved in the world today and over 80% of those people are sexually exploited, the majority of whom are children. The most disturbing fact is that only 1-2% of the victims of sex trafficking are ever rescued.
Prom with a Purpose has joined with organizations to not only raise awareness about this pressing issue, but also to raise funds to help rescue and rehabilitate the victims of the sex industry.
More infomation on the issue of human trafficking can be found on IJM's website.
*Statistics from IJM and A 21.