May 22, 2017

The Trainer is Coming!

In the Kitchen
In the Kitchen

My dear Friends of Esther's Aid,

Greetings from the ground in Rwanda!  Our project to "Empower 50 Survivors of Sex-Trafficking” continues, just as we have indicated in our last reports. The first phase, since its inception, is in place. Thanks to the initial outpouring of Global Giving donations, the action plan to accommodate was done.  We have had great success integrating many of the women into the programs at Esther's Aid.

The training of the young women registered in our culinary school is in progress. They are part of our student body showing wonderful transformations. We have gone further to ensure that clear pathways to employment transition are identified in culinary art, bakery, tailoring, fabric design (tie & die) and mushroom growing. Esther’s Aid has brought in an expert in fabric design to train the women and further enhance the skills and empowerment program.  We have waited a long time to get this trainer.

The women also benefit from the advantages that Esther's Aid brings to all the students. We work to ensure that at least 60% of youth participating in the program either access jobs, self-employment and/or business start-ups, and/or pursue further education and training. 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.

Please, be mindful, not all are victims of sex-trafficking, but a mixture with those who were sex-workers (prostitutes). Since we started reaching out to these young girls and women, more are coming out and seeking help, because there are windows of opportunities for them. There has been a huge increase over these few years – and we have handled it, but not without a huge strain on the program. The challenge we face in this project is funding. This affects the short term room and board, short term financial aid, and emergency health care assistance. Areas that are so crucial to the women's survival.

Dear friends, without ongoing funding, the women in these programs do survive, but we want to continue to support their efforts to thrive, as well as, rescue the new survivors that flock to our doors. There is still almost $6,000 left unfunded on our GG page. Please, help us to reach our goal ASAP.

It is so fulfilling because we are investing in the lives of those who had absolutely no hope. God has helped and still helps us to put smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts. We bless you and pray that you will continue to help us/them too.

Gratefully yours, 

Clare 

 

 

Sewing Class
Sewing Class
The Group with a Volunteer
The Group with a Volunteer

Links:

Feb 21, 2017

Our Survivors Still Need Your Help!

February 19, 2017

Dear Friends of Esther's Aid, 

Since the start of 2017, we have received more victims – new groups are pouring in. This is because of the progress we have demonstrated and recorded since the beginning.

Presently, we have 98 women who are being trained by 6 leaders in 13 groups. Note, not all are victims of sex- trafficking, but a mixture of sex workers. Again, since we started reaching out to the victims, others keep coming to seek help. Some of the young women from this group were registered at Esther's Aid School and will be graduating with other students on February 24, 2017. Esther's Aid has given them hope for a better future. They believe because they are now educated and trained. We are so proud of these women.

After monitoring and evaluating the project, there are basic things we need to put in place - if we are to continue with this success. We still intend to bring in a Trainer next month, if there are funds available. This professional will teach advanced sewing, accessory making and hat design. Also, we are restructuring our action plan to accommodate the new groups that are pouring in. Our partnership with community leaders, especially in the villages near the nation's borders, helps our continuous efforts in identifying these groups or individuals.

Dear friends, our Program is very successful and none of it would have happened without your generosity. However, those initial funds have dwindled and we are struggling to maintain this project. The lack of finances affects all parts of the program – especially, the critical care we provide when these brave survivors are rescued. This includes short term room and board, emergency health care assistance, and short term financial aid.

Esther's Aid will not give up. These women have survived horrific abuses. We will continue to give them the support they need. Please, help us with your on going support. We thank all our donors at GlobalGiving and we pray that God will bless you and yours for your compassion and giving.

Gratefully,

Clare Effiong

Founder & Executive Director. Esther's Aid, Kigali, Rwanda

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Nov 21, 2016

This Thanksgiving, We are grateful for You!

THIS THANKSGIVING, WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR YOU!

Dear Supporters of Esther's Aid,

This Thanksgiving, we are especially grateful for you!

Last year, when Esther's Aid created this program, Rescue the Victims and Survivors of Sex Trafficking, we focused our efforts on these vulnerable girls and young women. It was to last from 9-12 months with specific answers for the needs of these survivors. These included, short term room and board, short term financial aid, emergency health care, counseling and advocacy. They would be enrolled in Esther's Aid current training programs (Culinary Arts, Sewing and Fashion Design) to gain skills. These skills would empower them with dignity and confidence to seek employment. 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 this challenge successfully – but there is so much more to do!

The project has helped transition the girls and women from their past life of controlled abuse to stable independence. It has provided short-term room and board, healthcare, counseling, advocacy, and financial aid, intervention and practical assistance. when it was most needed. We watched these young people daily with excitement and fulfillment, because hope has been restored for a greater tomorrow and there is confidence and power to achieve success!.

In our previous reports, we mentioned the significant transformation in the lives of the victims, who escaped the cruel hands of traffickers. Those whom we brought into Esther’s Aid school to join other students in our Culinary Arts and Hospitality Program are experiencing a newness of life. We continue to watch carefully our young women we empowered with petty trading in charcoal, tomatoes and Bridal rental. They are all coming out from the depth of despair to light with vibrancy.

Remember Emeritha M. in our second report. Her life story has changed for the best. Her charcoal business is doing well. “This support from Esther’s Aid is a surprise to me. We will make our supporters proud, with all glory to God.”  Also, Jose and her friends are making waves, with the hair salon business. They are saving to buy their own small property to expand their business instead of renting. “My survival is a miracle. I have seen the worst in life, and now I am beginning to see the newness of life.”

Counseling Sessions

In our continuous efforts to identify these groups or individuals, we partner with community leaders, especially in the villages near the nation’s borders. We organized a close-knit meeting to listen and hear from the victims to learn about their specific situation, so we could provide intervention based on needs, age, and a desire to overcome the trauma.

Long-Term Impact

This project has provided opportunity for these vulnerable young women to break free from traffickers. They have found refuge when most needed and are on their way to achieving productive and independent lives, because they feel confident and empowered with skills. Esther's Aid will mentor these girls and women on Entrepreneurship and Cooperative Creation of Small Businesses.

But Esther's Aid is limited because of the limited resources. We were not able to get in the trainer to provide classes on hat design. Since we started reaching out to the victims, more are coming out and seeking help. We continue to provide transition support, counseling and helping them to restore self-worh – giving them the confidence to handle any self-sustaining project. We want to do so much more!

Please continue to support Esther's Aid on GlobalGiving! Please, remember us on GivingTuesday, November 29, 2016 so that your donations will have matching dollars. We are so grateful for your support. God bless you this Thanksgiving and in the years to come. Help us to give all these victims an opportunity to be part of next year's graduating class!

Respectfully yours,

 

Clare Effiong

Executive Director, Esther's Aid Mission in Rwanda

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