Wise 50 Over 50 Award™
Cynthia Bland – Voice Found
I started this organization as a result of my own personal story and recognizing that as a nation we were not doing enough to support adults who were sexually abused as children. I had a successful career in a global software company and as a self employed consultant. In 2015 I made the decision to commit myself full time to this organization as the need is significant. When I started the organization it was my ‘part time’ job and I took no salary. I knew little about the non-profit world but I DID know I needed to do something.
I was 54 when Voice Found became a federally incorporated non-profit. Now a national charity, I started it as a result of my lived experience as a survivor of child sex abuse and exploitation.
The organization was registered in 2011. From then till 2015 we focused on delivering prevention training from coast to coast to coast. In 2015 we secured funding from the federal department of justice to launch The Hope Found Project – through this initiative we provide front line support to sex trafficked persons in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario.
Children and youth across Canada need us to step up – to recognize, react and respond to child sex abuse and commercial sexual exploitation. Victims of these most heinous of crimes need support – there is not enough and the need is great.
In 2018 we will be opening Canada’s only health clinic specifically for persons who are at risk of, are being or have been trafficked.