Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, and a resident of Florida for the last ten years, Natasha Nascimento’s diverse life experience inspired her to find ways to serve others in need. She has found her voice and compassionate vision in Redefining Refuge, an organization dedicated to fighting for women and children who have been victims of human trafficking.
Although her educational background and professional experience have served her well, Natasha’s life passion aims to bring awareness to and provide resources to victims of Human Trafficking. Her unwavering dedication to address a rapidly growing problem stemmed from watching a heart-wrenching television program that highlighted the prevalence of international human trafficking; however, it was the story of a Romanian father choosing to sell his own son that resonated with Natasha and became a catalyst for her to tackle what has evolved into a modern version of slavery head-on.
Although the discussion of human trafficking is in no way regarded as a comfortable topic in any given setting, Natasha was shocked by the apathetic response and failure to address human trafficking that takes place domestically, with research estimating that up to 300,000 American children are trafficked annually within the United States alone. Recognizing the local need to develop advocacy on behalf of children without a voice or chance to defend themselves, Natasha’s launch of the foundation, Redefining Refuge, has sparked a contagious willingness from participants around the world to contribute to confronting and ultimately preventing human trafficking.
Currently, Redefining Refuge has active participants spanning from Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and across the United States who share the foundation’s resolve to become the beginning of an end to an unimaginable injustice, and ignite the restoration of lives afflicted by Human Trafficking.
We’re grateful to Ms. Nascimento for bringing her insight, compassion and call for action to TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2012.