Nov 5, 2018

With Shouts of Joy!

November 2018

Dear Friends of Esther's Aid, 

Rescuing the Victims of Sex Trafficking has been a journey that brought the Survivors from grass to grace. It was with tears, pain and struggle that we embarked on this challenge, but today the Team at Esther’s Aid and the Survivors can lift our hands up in triumph with shouts of joy. Yes, shouts of joy because these former victims have survived, totally transformed and reintegrated into the community. They are now a force to be reckoned with. Their determination and tenacity to succeed and to be recognized is unparalleled. This would not have been possible without your support through your generous donations on GlobalGiving! We are enormously grateful to all of you.

Forty-four (44) women out of fifty (50) created a Business Cooperative as a foundation for their operations in Rwanda. Esther’s Aid opened an incubation center and gave the collective start up kits to produce designs of assorted patterns on fabric (e.g. tie dye) for dress making, blouses, shirts, pants, bags, and more. They are aggressively targeting the duty-free shops at the Kigali Airport to showcase their work and secure market contracts. Their profit margin per month is 80,000 RWF (approx. $91 USD). 

Rwanda has already begun a campaign to promote “Made in Rwanda” clothing in the fashion industry. We hope these women will benefit from this campaign to help grow their businesses. Esther’s Aid has expanded our programs to provide other income generating opportunities and to further empower some of the survivors, including young men. We have trained them in Mushroom Growing and given them the mushroom tubes to begin planting. We also have provided goats for Animal Husbandry. These new start-ups have helped in a far reaching way. 

Uwingeneye Jean Baptiste is a young survivor with a passion for the restaurant business after training at Esther's Aid Culinary Arts Program. With some seed capital, he is opening a small restaurant in the village. 

Esther’s Aid appreciates you, our donors who support the success of this project through their contributions on GlobalGiving (globalgiving.org/esthersaid). It is evident that the Project is sustaining itself through the success of the first 44/50 survivors! They are now reaching out to other hidden victims - encouraging them to come out and have life-changing experiences through the skills training from Esther’s Aid. The sky is their limit. 

Thank you so much! God bless you all. 

Warm regards, 

Clare Effiong

 

 

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Aug 8, 2018

Gorgeous Fabrics and Gorgeous Young Women

Dear Friends of Esther's Aid, 
Our campaign on Global Giving has almost reached its goal!  We have less than $500 to complete this campaign! This would not have been possible without you!  Because of your ongoing generosity these young women are stable and their self worth has been restored because of the life skills they have learned at Esther's Aid.  As you can see below, their products get better and better.  Some of them are training now on how to make bags and shoes from the fabric designs.
When I asked what the future holds for them through these great skills they are mastering?  They said, "We are confident that very soon, people with cars and businesses will seek us out, order our products. We have great ideas and we are determined to make it in life!"  
We are inordinately grateful to all our donors who have supported this project on Global Giving.  You can see how happy these young women are and how proud they are of their gorgeous fabrics.  

May God bless you all and return your generosity one hundred fold.












May 11, 2018

With Enormous Gratitude

Dear dear Friends of Esther's Aid, 

In 2015, when Esther's Aid created this program to rescue the Victims and Survivors of Sex Trafficking, we focused our efforts on the vulnerable girls and young women. It was to last from 9-12 months with specific answers for the needs of these survivors. This project provided short-term room and board, healthcare, counseling, advocacy, and financial aid to 50 girls and women who are victims of sex trafficking in Rwanda. 

Because of your help through GlobalGiving, we began our work. The challenge was to provide intervention and practical assistance when and where it was most needed. Esther’s Aid has met these challenges successfully – but we have exceeded the target number and there is so much more to do.

The girls were enrolled in Esther's Aid Skills Development Training programs (Culinary Arts, Sewing, Fashion & Fabric Design, Knitting, Hair dressing, Event planning and Mushroom growing) to gain skills. These development skills empowered them with dignity and confidence to seek employment.  In our first report, we featured some of the victims of sex-trafficking with their small businesses.  The market stalls with merchandise - vegetables, charcoal, tomatoes and fruits. Their livelihoods are improving.

Ever since, we have moved into an exciting and innovative empowerment program that spanned to this year 2018.  Those trained and empowered have been able to train others with different skills in the communities. Big doors are openeing for the young women to take back their lives.

This project has been quite an experience! “Whenever I think of submitting this report, I always remember individual faces, expressed through different emotional outbursts.  As I looked from group to group, trying to figure out how best to handle the needs associated with them, such as poverty, feelings of rejection and hopelessness. I came up with one solution: LOVE."  This is the only tool powerful enough to lift up these young women.  

Long-Term Impact

This project has provided opportunity for renewed lives with hope and dignity. They have found refuge when most needed and have achieved productive and independent lives as well as improving their economic status. The good and exciting news is, some of the girls have secured jobs while 42 have created a cooperative. For sustained support, we have hired the business coach who would take them further and link them with small micro-finance institutions, as well as, giving them saving strategies to shape their future.  Esther's Aid will continue to mentor, encourage and supervise them and their cooperatives.

From the Field Traveler:

“Esther's Aid is truly changing the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in Rwanda - their vocational training programs for victims of sex trafficking among other vulnerable groups allows them the ability to build a hopeful future after the unspeakable abuse they've suffered.”  We are grateful for Mikey's visit and appreciate his beautiful comments.

The story about the progress of these girls demonstrates the power of love and commitment to raise the poor and needy from the dunghill. We watch these girls daily with excitement and fulfillment because they are now fully empowered and hope is restored for a greater tomorrow. “Empowering women is the catalyst for positively impacting the future of the community towards a transformed society."

It's been a tedious journey; a mixture of excitement and sometimes emotional pain as we work to encourage and restore these deeply traumatized young women. You have seen from our other reports what some of the women have accomplished. Esther's Aid fosters and nurtures partnerships with private sector companies and other employers to ensure work based learning opportunities that are sustainable and would lead to job placements.

We remain grateful to our donors who gave to our campaign on GlobalGiving.  It is because of you that Esther's Aid has the opportunity to create and fund this rescue program. God bless you and GlobalGiving.

With enormous gratitude, 

Clare Effiong

(Prepared by NDAMUKUNDA Olivier) 









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