Humans of NGU: Audrey Salaita

Over the summer, Audrey Salaita started making journals to sell as a way to raise money for Switch, a human trafficking organization in Greenville. She gave her journals the name, “Freedom Leather” because they are made of leather, and they go to support the freedom of victims who cannot help themselves.

Salaita, junior math and engineering major, has always wanted to have her own non-profit organization. She wants to be in engineering because she wants to help in designing ways to get clean water to those who have no access.

The journals are all handmade and all of her profits go back to supporting Switch. Salaita makes a fresh batch of journals about once a week and they all sell out faster than she can restock. People are moved by her efforts to create something to raise awareness for a growing human tragedy. She sells them from an Instagram account, @freedomleather.

Salaita got the idea of journals after seeing several Instagram accounts that sold leather-bound journals. She learned how to make them by watching videos on the internet.

A handmade journal from Freedom Leather.

A handmade journal from Freedom Leather.

“The main reason that I’m donating to Switch is that I attended an orientation to volunteer with them over the summer, but I didn’t have the time to get involved in the way they needed and hearing their hearts and how effective they are in Greenville made me realize that I wanted to create something that supported them.”

She got involved with Tikvah International, a club that raises awareness for trafficking, at NGU and that really started her passion to help trafficking victims. Salaita is now vice president of the club. Not only does she want to help Switch financially, she also wants to raise awareness about the problem of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is defined as the illegal movement of people for labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking is a growing tragedy in human rights. Women are taken from their homes and are forced to do things they would otherwise not do, if they were not forced.

Greenville is right in the middle of two of the largest cities for trafficking, Atlanta and Charlotte. As the industry grows, its coming closer and closer to Greenville. The more aware people are aware, the more they are able to help the victims and also end trafficking all together.