Why Project ROOTS?

The Challenges Youth Face Today

This introduction outlines a variety of risks and challenges that our youth face today based on published research. In light of this research, we not only describe the challenges that our youth face but identify the pressing need for tailored approaches and solutions that can help to mitigate these challenges, specifically in the areas of mental health, negative cultural and social norms, changing social dynamics and exposure to violence- particularly human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). The Project ROOTS toolkit aims to address these pressing issues through building the coping skills of our youth through gender perspective, to build their resilience and prevent them from becoming victims of these risks.

What Are We Doing About It?

Given all of the challenges and risks that our youth face today, simply heightening awareness and identifying the problems are not adequate responses.  For example, numerous anti-trafficking campaigns tend to employ scare tactics that present all children as being trafficked, which can be both counter-productive and misleading as to the true mechanism behind this growing issue. Most of these anti-trafficking campaigns fail to address the social realities that affect youth such as poverty, homelessness, and involvement in the child welfare system. The Project ROOTS toolkit takes these prevalent issues and corresponding research into account when creating a set of interactive activities that aim to prevent youth from being drawn into these risky behaviors.