Develop Requirements & Design for Online Marketplace

Empower survivors of human trafficking


Support entrepreneurs & Reduce the risk of being re-trafficked


How might we design a solution to support income and opportunity generation for survivors of human trafficking, slavery, and gender-based violence in New York City? And more specifically, how might we develop the technical requirements, sitemap, and wireframe(s) for Village Square: the first not-for-profit online socially conscious marketplace offering small batches of lovingly made and locally sourced products made by NYC-based immigrant survivors of gender-based violence and human trafficking.

Challenge Context

Women who have been rescued from human trafficking and domestic violence have limited options when it comes to employment, for a variety of reasons. Often, they have to begin with basic language and employment skills training, as the majority of women are trafficked from a number of regions, including India, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. There is also a high percentage of second-generation immigrants in New York who are fleeing their home environments. Once language skills are mastered, further training and resources development are required. Additionally, for many of these women, often single mothers, their lack of physical and psychosocial safety does not permit them to seek employment in-person, in New York City. The risk of them being re-trafficked and re-victimized is very high. Many of these women developed skills in their home countries, such as weaving or food preparation and a multitude of other services and products. Providing an alternate and safe pathway for them to generate an income is vital.

Volunteer Program Approach

1. Conduct discovery conversations with relevant stakeholders, create use cases, and understand stakeholder needs

2. Develop platform requirements

3. Create sitemap

4. Develop wireframe(s)

5. Consult stakeholders

6. Finalize requirements & wireframe(s)

Volunteer Roles, Skills & Commitment

Discovery & Requirements Gathering Skills; Project management

Number of volunteers needed: 3-4

Expected deliverables: Gather requirements; Conduct discovery conversations with relevant stakeholders

When expertise will be needed: 3 hours per week End of April-Beginning of May

Product Management

Number of volunteers needed: 1-2

Expected deliverables: Create use cases; Understand stakeholder needs

When expertise will be needed: 3 hours per week End of April- Mid-May

E-commerce specialist

Number of volunteers needed: 1

Expected deliverables: Provide feedback and input on requirements based on knowledge & experience

When expertise will be needed: 2 hours per week End of April – End of May


Number of volunteers needed: 1-2

Expected deliverables: Design wireframes; Update wireframes after stakeholder consultation

When expertise will be needed: 3 hours per week throughout May

Want to be involved?

Email to help!


About our partner

Empowerment Square was founded in New York City in 2017 by Ansa Noreen. Ansa is an immigrant from Pakistan and a survivor of human trafficking and domestic violence. Since escaping her traffickers in 2016, she has become a proud New Yorker and entrepreneur. In Pakistan, she was a well-known entrepreneur in fashion and textile design. As the founder and CEO of Empowerment Square, Ansa works to help survivors rebuild their lives from the ground up. Empowerment Square offers a safe and inclusive space where survivors can learn professional and social skills, build their community, and share their strengths. Ansa and her team of dedicated volunteers run a 5 steps program, “Elevate to Empower” for women in shelters. In the first Phase, participants receive English language training (6 months). In Phase 2, participants work on their public speaking and leadership skills (3 months). In Phase 3, participants develop financial management and literacy skills (3 months). For a total of 9 months. 

Since launching in 2017, Ansa has supported over 200 women, across 5 partner organizations (shelters) supporting female survivors of human trafficking.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I'm interested in a particular role but I'm still developing my skills in that area. Can I still participate?

Definitely! Volunteering is a great way to develop your skills. You will be responsible for certain deliverables so if you’re uncertain if your skills are what is needed for the project, reach out to Bryanna at

Can I invite a friend or colleague to participate?

Sure! If they have the right skills, we’d love for them to join us! 

Join us in supporting survivors of human trafficking

Email to volunteer

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