Founder and the realization of a dream
“Being a survivor of Trafficking in Persons is like having a tattoo on the soul. No one can see it, but it is always there and remains forever.” – Marcela Loaiza
In December 2011, she formalizes her philanthropic work, and accomplishes her dream of creating a foundation, known as Fundación Marcela Loaiza. The organization's main goal is to work on awareness and prevention of trafficking in persons with children, teenagers and adults. Marcela also formed an alliance with the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to bring about awareness through her testimonial to the community. The Foundation also helps victims heal and reintegrate back into society by becoming the voices that spread the message of what trafficking in persons is really about. The Foundation will also offer care and support for survivors of trafficking, to help them overcome their personal and psychological problems, and gain access to the job market. Marcela created the Foundation so all survivors of trafficking can try to rebuild their dreams and recover their dignity the same way she did.
Her second dream has been realized with the formation of the new global foundation here in the United States as of October 2013. This new 501c3 non-profit organization, named the Marcela Loaiza Foundation, Inc., will continue what the Colombian Foundation started, focusing on the United States, Mexico and other specific global countries. This new global foundation will concentrate on entering into agreements and strategizing with various organizations, including governmental, to bring awareness, education and prevention efforts to trafficking in persons through media, conferences, educational materials, etc. It will also serve to form alliances with other organizations commited to helping survivors of trafficking in persons including CAST - Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking. Marcela is now a member of the National Survivor Network which was launched by CAST.
Marcela Loaiza is a Colombian woman who was a victim of trafficking in persons and was sexually exploited for 18 months in Japan. After dangerously escaping from the notorious mafia network Yakuza, she arrived back in Colombia only to find a world without opportunity and no help from the Colombian government. Feeling desperate, she felt like the only path for her to take was to resort to prostitution. Tired of living a life not meant for her, she found refuge in the world of literature, and managed to gradually heal the pain caused by the horrendous experience of being a trafficking victim by writing two books, “Atrapada por la Mafia Yakuza”, and “Lo que fui y lo que soy” published by Planeta in Colombia. It is at this time, when she discovers that through writing, sharing her testimony, and putting her face out in public, she can assist her community by bringing out awareness on trafficking in persons.
On January 26th, 2015, Marcela Loaiza traveled to Colombia to receive an award from Bob Mathiasen, a representative from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), for all of her hard work as an activist against trafficking in persons in Colombia and around the world. The award symbolizes the breaking of the chains of trafficking in persons. She also had an important meeting with the Minister of Interior, Juan Fernando Cristo, to discuss the rectification of Law 985 of 2005, as well as possibilities of implementing and improvig programs to better assist survivors of trafficking in persons.