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Our Story & Mission Statement

"Never in my life did I imagine anything would be more important to me than my own artwork. Then I met two trafficked sisters and created Alchemy Design Project. Now, the futures of rescued survivors means more. So much more. Working with survivors has given a whole new meaning to my life"  Sydney Scherr


Alchemy Design Project is an initiative created by Sydney Scherr in 2012 (originally known as the Alchemy Project) while developing, directing and teaching the only Jewelry Design and production Degree college program in Malaysia.


Scherr traveled to Cambodia to bring in the New Year with her Khmer friends, Bopha Sok and Srey Mau.  "Bopha Sok and I took a walk in a small village on the outskirts of Siem Reap, I met two sisters, ten and eleven years old, and we became friends. They were sweet and innocent, and as we shared meals they shared their stories. They told me they were in the sex trade having been trafficked by their mother. Their harsh reality shocked me, but inspired me to re-imagine the futures of trafficked children."


The Alchemy Design Project is a simple, sustainable solution promoting vocational training to survivors while they in under the temporary care of a Non Government Organization. Vocational skills offer immediate pathways for a survivors financial freedom. Without vocational alternatives, too many young survivors get lost to another harsh reality, just to survive. That is the darker landscape of re-trafficking.

Mission Statement

Alchemy Design Project (ADP) is a sustainable, secular, educational initiative advancing the practice of volunteer tourism specific to teaching vocational skills for women impacted by human trafficking, or at risk of re-trafficking, while under the temporary care and shelter of an NGO.

  1. Partnerships ~ The ADP forms partnerships with Non-government organizations sheltering survivors of human trafficking and offers vocational workshops for survivors, and one staff member, at no cost to the NGO. Developing vocational, marketable skills creates immediate income opportunities for survivors and minimizes the risk of re-trafficking. The ADP encourages vacationers to volunteer a few days and teach what they know. ADP will offer logistical support (connecting to NGOs and shipping of teaching supplies) and will help fund teaching supplies for individuals or groups . All participants will need to go through a background check to ensure survivors are not put at further risk.

  2. ​Empowerment and Transformation ~ Vocational education creates economic freedom. Poverty, lack of education or vocational skillsets are contributing factors to survivors not being able to succeed once rescued and released from the care of an NGO. The ADP fills this gap though a global pool of volunteer teachers and connections to national and international NGOs.

Apply the 3 V's:
Vacations, Volunteerism and Vocational training!

Recognize that each one of us has an opportunity to share a few days of our vacation travel to  create life-changing opportunities that impact children's futures, simply by teaching what you know! YOU will be able to build pathways for a survivors financial freedom and independence from exploitation.  Education is the key, and training that supports marketable skills enables children to experience personal self-esteem, pride and hope.  Each child is provided a tool and material supply set appropriate to the skills you are sharing.  No child should have a financial burden when beginning their journey to personal empowerment.

ADP will help connect you with Non-Government Organizations (NGO's) working with survivors. We will help fund your teaching materials, where we are able, and get the materials to your destination.

All it takes is your compassion and intention to gift your time and knowledge! Your life will be forever changed when witnessing hope overcoming despair and experiencing the impact of your gift.

In 2022 the Alchemy Design Project (ADP) received non-profit status to facilitate becoming the global resource Scherr always envisioned. Come autumn, 2023, The ADP will offer logistical and financial supplies support to eager travelers who want to do something remarkable, for survivors and themselves, while on vacation, in addition to site-seeing!

My young friends, the children who inspired me to reimagine the futures of trafficked children. Together, with the dedicated involvement of my college students, we helped survivors create brighter futures for themselves, and they, in turn, changed our lives, too.

Meet Our Founder

Sydney envisioned a simple, sustainable and duplicatable opportunity that each of us is able to employ by volunteering to teach vocational skills to survivors of human trafficking so they are not vulnerable to re-trafficking.   


                                              Together we will make real and profound change happen!

The joy of transforming lives

  Survivors faces are obscured to protect their privacy and safety

We Need Your Support Today!

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