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.
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,
(Prepared by NDAMUKUNDA Olivier)