Philanthropy

Princess Eugenie Speaks Out About Her Mission to End Modern Slavery

The royal has been working to help vulnerable women in India.
IMAGE GETTY IMAGES/ KARWAI TANG
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Princess Eugenie and her close friend Julia de Boinville, recently sat down for an interview with Global GoalsCast. During the podcast, which was created to inspire listeners to make the world a better place, Eugenie and Boinville spoke out about what prompted them to start the Anti-Slavery Collective together, and how they're continuously working to make a difference.

The two young women, who have been best friends for over 13 years, shared that they began their mission to fight modern slavery after traveling to Calcutta, India in 2013. During their trip, they met the founder of the Women’s Interlink Foundation (WIF) and were exposed to human trafficking for the first time. The eye-opening journey inspired both women to learn more about the topic and to begin a conversation about what they could do to help.

Eugenie shared that prior to the trip, she didn't fully understand just how close to home modern slavery was taking place. "We realized then that it’s a huge problem and it happens all across the world and even an hour from where you live," she said.

"Slavery today is not like it was in the 1800s, you know, slaves walk amongst us. It’s not shackles and chains, they’re normal people walking on the streets. So it’s, it’s really terrifying," Boinville added.

Eugenie's passion for the cause first became evident when she announced the launch of the Anti-Slavery Collective while speaking at the Change Makers Summit in April. She and Boinville created the initiative with the aim to one day abolish modern slavery by supporting vulnerable women and children with employment opportunities and assistance.

After starting the Anti-Slavery Collective, Princess Eugenie enlisted the help of her parents, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew, to spark an even bigger change. It wasn't long before the York family created the Key to Freedom, a foundation that works with the Women's Interlink Foundation to sell products made by the girls in Calcutta to brands like Topshop.

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Princess Eugenie and her mom, Sarah Ferguson

According to the organization's website, the sale of the products "allows the women who sew and dye the garments to earn a living wage and regain control of the choices in their lives," and all profits go directly toward developing additional WIF sites.

Later in the podcast, moderator Edie Lush shared some statistics that expose the reality of just how common modern-day slavery is. According to Lush, an estimated 40 million people worldwide are still living in slavery. "Just to put that in perspective, it’s about the population of Poland," Lush said.

Eugenie shared that for her and Boinville, a large part of the last five years have been dedicated to learning more about the issue at hand. "We decided to read as much as we can, meet as many people as we can, talk to policymakers, change makers, governments, millennials, and as many people as possible to really learn about this, but also to see how we can affect change," she said.

Princess Eugenie concluded the interview with some heartfelt words. She acknowledged that when working to tackle an issue as large as this, it's not uncommon to feel frustrated or defeated. Her advice to others is, "If you could save one person's life, or if you can help one person, or support one charity, then you’re doing something incredible, and you’re really changing the world."

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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