Chai 4 Change was started by our founder Serena Varghese Gonzalez. As a first generation east Indian, drinking chai was not only a familial custom but became a tradition for Serena as she entered into her young adult years. Throughout college and her early 20's, Serena worked with various nonprofits, one of which struck a personal chord.
This specific organization, rescued and rehabilitated women & children who were forced into the commercial sex slave market in one of India's infamous Red Light District's. Soon after, she discovered that the same organization was planning to open their doors in her hometown of Houston, Texas. Houston, at the time was ranked as the #1 city for human trafficking in the United States.
Serena shares the moment she knew she wanted to do something to create a positive change, "When I was first introduced to what human trafficking was, it broke my heart and to hear that victims were as young as 7 years old was just unfathomable. The fact that I came to find out these innocent children were rescued from the country my family was from (India) AND in the city I called home (Houston) is exactly what sparked something inside to make a local and global impact."
For several years, Serena bounced around ideas for different products that could "do good" with their profits when one day after talking with some close friends, the concept was birthed, "Why not use an everyday product that exemplifies authentic India to help create change for women & children in our own communities AND around the world: Chai. Chai was the solution. "
Chai 4 Change as a company exists to change women & children's lives for the better. Our vision is to provide Chai to consumers & empower them to create change in their own cities as they consume daily. It's really very simple. With every bag of chai sold, we partner with a change making organization in their city & around the world that helps rescue and rehabilitate women & children from human trafficking.
"So go ahead + try the chai...We hope you too will partner with us."
the illegal movement of people, typically for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor.
Child victims of trafficking are recruited, transported, transferred, harbored or received for the purpose of exploitation. They may be forced to work in sweatshops, on construction sites or in houses as domestic servants; on the streets as child beggars, in wars as child soldiers, on farms, in traveling sales crews or in restaurants and hotels. Some are forced to work in brothels and strip clubs or for escort and massage services.
Trafficking is not just an issue that happens to people in other countries. The United States is a source and transit country, and is also considered one of the top destination points for victims of child trafficking and exploitation. (Unicef)
We believe that every person should have the right to live free from exploitation, abuse and modern day slavery, especially innocent children. Together, we not only can put a stop to human trafficking but also provide relief and support for the victims of this horrific injustice.
Much to popular opinion, the chai you and I have come to order and enjoy here in the United States, is merely a derivative of an authentic "chai." We at, Chai 4 Change want to re-introduce the consumer to the classic chai and hold our tea (and taste buds) to high standards.
We value authenticity. Our chai comes directly from the source. Nestled 5000 feet up in the pristine blue mountains of Southern India (Nilgiris) our tea is sure to invigorate discerning tea drinkers.
We value integrity. Rest assured, your chai comes from a tea estate who thinks beyond their own profits.
Our supplier's tea estate is eco-friendly, which means they take their responsibility to the environment seriously, using natural spring + rain water & no pump systems, . They also take great care to ensure harmful pesticides do not enter the forest soil and water of the tea estates, using only neem-based natural pesticides.
We value people. Our supplier strives to foster the development of family ties between employee and employer. What does that mean?
Most of the work force migrates from their native villages seeking better opportunities, and once they become a part of the work force, they choose to stay on and continue to retirement, making a home for themselves in the pristine Nilgiris.
We are happy to partner with a supplier who offers their employees:
- Healthcare and Health Insurance (inclusive of medicines) // onsite Hospital
- Education for the Employees Children
- Retirement Housing & Pension
- Cooking Gas
- Subsidized Electricity
- Onsite Physical Fitness Center
In addition, we are happy to partner with a supplier who believes in bettering the community. In 1987 a home was started for the orphan children of the neighboring villages of the estate. The home supports both boys and girls of ranging from four to fifteen. The home gives the children a true sense of belonging. The children are enrolled for studies at the estate school, encouraged to be their own self - be it either growing a garden/ vegetable patch or fostering a pet. This gives them a sense of responsibility and encourages them to participate in the home activities. By not only providing them a place to call their own, they are also given tools and education to equip themselves for the future.