First Steps To Freedom

1 July 2014

THE COLOUR SISTERHOOD partners with A21 to provide those “first steps to freedom” which includes basic clothing, shoes, towels, dental exam, hair cut and initial post trauma rehabilitation.

Amanda’s STORY.
After Amanda* finished college, she went to a job agency in the hope of starting a career using her degree. The agency offered her a summer job in Greece, assuring her that they would take care of her application, visa and flight. It seemed like a dream come true. When Amanda arrived she was not given the job they had promised her; instead she was locked into a room, assaulted, abused, starved and threatened. Amanda was trafficked from brothel to brothel, forced to service multiple men every night. After two long years she managed to escape and she was brought to an A21 shelter where she was cared for and loved. Today, Amanda’s life has completely changed. She went through an A21 transition program and has returned to her home country. Amanda is active in a Church community and has obtained employment. Her dreams have been restored as she has begun to take steps towards the bright future ahead of her.

* Name has been changed to protect privacy.

The NEED.
At least 20.9 million adults and children are bought and sold worldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labor and bonded labour. An estimated 53% of detected trafficking victims are subjected to sexual exploitation. There are an estimated 1.39 million victims of commercial sexual servitude worldwide.

Trafficking patterns display distinct regional differences and in Europe and Central Asia, trafficking in persons mainly concerns adults (83%). Also in Europe, only an estimated 1-2% of victims are rescued.

Victims of trafficking have a range of short-term and long-term needs. Safety is the first priority and at the point of intervention they require basic necessities such as emergency accommodation, food and clothing, and the facilitation of communication. Other needs will likely include housing, legal assistance, health screening and treatment, dental care, education, life skills training and family reunification or repatriation.

The PROJECT.
A21 provides aftercare programs in Greece, Ukraine, Bulgaria, USA, South Africa and Thailand. A21 works with the police to assist and help rehabilitate victims from both sex trafficking and labour trafficking experiences. In 2015, A21 saw a 23% increase in providing assistance to survivors of human trafficking through their safe homes, transition platforms, and external assistance programs.

A21’s restoration facilities are safe environments for survivors to feel empowered to live in freedom. They are provided with essential items such as clothing, shoes, and towels, and also a haircut, dental exam, and initial post trauma rehabilitation. Trafficking survivors pushing past crisis to stabilisation are equipped with skills they can use in the future and are assisted with making the next steps in freedom.

Through supporting this project you can help support the A21 shelter in Greece, which is the only shelter exclusively for trafficking victims in the country.

Local Church AWARENESS.
If you are part of a local church please be mindful of your local church vision and be sure to graciously submit and share your heart with those in leadership in your life. We believe we should see this as an ‘above and beyond’ endeavour that has the capacity to reach out and build bridges into our unchurched communities and ultimately be a blessing.

Our RESPONSE.
PRAY
For trafficking survivors’ emotional and physical healing and for courage to testify against their traffickers. Pray for effective responses for prevention and victim support.

FUNDRAISE.
Check out our handy little tips on various ways to raise funds. Please see the financial guidelines document online for more practical information. Please note that if a project is completed we reserve the right to transfer any excess funds to another project.

THE DETAILS
$500 AUD can provide essentials for a trafficked victim to experience her first steps of freedom. This includes: New pyjamas, fresh towels, undergarments, three complete new outfits, new shoes, dental exam, a visit to the hair salon, post trauma rehabilitation.

£500 can provide the essentials for 2 trafficked victims to experience their first steps of freedom.

€500 can provide essentials for 1 trafficked victim to experience her first steps of freedom.

$500 USD can provide the essentials for 1 trafficked victims to experience her first steps of freedom.

TELL US YOUR STORY
Send us an email at coloursisterhood@hillsong.com as we would love to hear about how you did it!