Restoring dignity, honor and freedom to trafficked survivors.

Who is kariz International?

Relentless in the pursuit of restoring survivors to a life of dignity and respect.

Kariz, a derivative of the Greek word charis, means grace, kindness and life.  The lotus flower is a symbol of the  human condition where the dirtiest water produces the most beautiful flower.

The board is focused on the women, men, girls and boys being sexually trafficked and the abuses in labor trafficking.  With a small dedicated board, we minimize overhead and use a significant portion of donations to provide hope and freedom to the survivors of these horrific crimes. 
We exist through the generosity of our donors.  Kariz International is recognized as a 501(c)(3) charity.  Our work  to provide honor and freedom to every woman, man and child is only accomplished through you and your  commitment to end human trafficking.  All donations are tax deductible.  

Our goal is to commit funds that will have the greatest impact in the areas we serve.

Meet the Leadership team

The Kariz International board is made up of passionate professionals and volunteers focused on providing hope and freedom to the survivors of human trafficking.

Mark Cushman

Country Director; Board Member
Before creating Kariz International, Mark was the Country Director for Ratanak International USA, a non-profit involved in the rehabilitation, reintegration, and repatriation of sex trafficking survivors in Cambodia.  Previously, Mark worked in development with an undisclosed non-profit, which was involved and partnered with church planting and other community development NGO’s in Azerbaijani, Georgia and Iran.  Mark enjoys teaching both internationally and domestically within an educational context and has a passion for studying Middle East culture and Arabic.
For over eighteen years, Mark has been employed in the fraud division for a Fortune 100 insurance company in Chicago, IL.  He began his career as an Investigative Assistant with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  Mark has investigated various organized crime rings, many of which have utilized prostituted and sexual exploited women as forerunners to defraud monies from the insurance company.  However, he did not fully realize the pervasiveness of the problem until he was working in Cambodia in a different NGO capacity and had an encounter with a Cambodian who was actively involved in the sexual exploitation of children.
Mark has a BS from Western Michigan University, MS from Boston University and MA in Historical and Systematic Theology from Wheaton College (IL).  He also has a Graduate Certificate in Arabic Language and Culture from The University of Chicago.  In his spare time, he enjoys reading, golfing and traveling with his family.  

Marcus Hogue

Board Member
Before joining Kariz International's Board, Marcus Hogue had already established an illustrious career as a technology executive, amassing over two decades of experience in various technical and leadership roles. He has a particular interest in harnessing his abilities to make a significant impact on the lives of others, especially victims of human trafficking.

Having been a significant figure in industry powerhouses like Allstate Insurance, Compuware, BMC Software, AppDynamics, and JFrog, Marcus's trajectory began in Michigan. Here, he completed a Bachelor's degree in Computer Networks & Systems along with an Associate's degree in Industrial Electronics Technology from Ferris State University in 2004. His education continued with the acquisition of a Master's degree in Information Technology from Northwestern University in 2010.

In addition to his professional pursuits, Marcus has consistently demonstrated a dedication to his community. He was instrumental in establishing and expanding Chicago NodeSchool, an initiative committed to broadening the accessibility of application development, which has now positively impacted over 500 members.

As a member of the Kariz board, Marcus leverages his expansive knowledge and experience in the tech industry in support of the organization's mission. His passionate leadership and firm commitment to instigating positive change are invaluable assets to the charity's endeavors. His input will undoubtedly bolster the success of Kariz International's programs, facilitating the restoration of dignity, honor, and freedom for those marred by the tragedy of human trafficking.

Adam Kalita

Board Member
After learning of the pervasive and debilitating affliction human trafficking has upon so many throughout the world, Adam was compelled to join Kariz International's mission throughout Southeast Asia and the Middle East.  Whether it be the latest "cyber-slaves" scam luring foreign workers into forced labor or "summer marriages" where woman and children are exploited by the commercial sex trade, there is a desperate need to help
victims of human trafficking.

As a business leader and market researcher with over two decades of experience with three of the world's largest food manufactures in the United States and Latin America, Adam intends to apply business rigor and problem solving skills to contribute to Kariz International's efforts aiding those in need.

Adam has a Bachelor of Science specializing in Marketing from the University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale where he was also the treasurer of the
sailing team.  

Board Members

Mark Cushman
Marcus Hogue
Adam Kalita

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