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The Emerge Story

Working Towards a Better Tomorrow

During the summer of 2005, 19-year-old Alia Whitney-Johnson arrived in Sri Lanka as a tsunami-relief volunteer. During this trip, she encountered a heartbreaking reality: Girls as young as 11 who had survived rape or incest and had the courage to stand up for themselves in court were cast out of their own families, denied the right to formal education, and locked-up for their own protection.


A jewellery-maker since age seven, Alia decided to host a beading workshop to get to know the girls better. The act of creating jewellery soon became a tool for transformation, uplifting the girls’ spirits and ultimately helping them to overcome the emotional, social, and economic obstacles they faced. Emerge was born as a way to help girls heal while learning critical life and business skills through jewellery design. Bead by bead and girl by girl, Emerge has enabled hundreds of girls to develop healthy, self-sufficient lives.

Emerge Global is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, registered in the state of Massachusetts (EIN: 26-3230131). Emerge Lanka Foundation is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in Sri Lanka (Company Number: GA2247). Both organizations are committed to financial transparency and sound financial management. Currently, all of our work conducted in the US is handled by exceptionally dedicated volunteers who ensure that the majority of our funding goes to support the girls we work with in Sri Lanka. Our accounts in Sri Lanka are monitored by an independent accountant and separate auditor.


If you have any questions about our financial statements, policies, or budgets please email:






The Emerge Story : About Us
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