Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda

by Esther's Aid For Needy and Abandoned Children, Inc Vetted since 2015 Site Visit Verified
Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda
Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda
Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda
Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda
Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda
Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda
Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda
Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda
Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda
Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda
Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda
Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda
Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda
Empower 50 Survivors of Sex Trafficking in Rwanda

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




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.

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) 


At Esther’s Aid our MISSION is to Love, Care, Train, and Empower. 

The ongoing rescue, training and empowerment program at Esther's Aid for the victims of sex-trade and trafficking is gaining more momentum. Some of the young women are being employed.  But about 90% have formed cooperatives with the help of Business Coaches, who provide additional training on marketing orientation and linkage to small microfinance institutions.

Again, the training at Esther's Aid in Pattern Design and Tie & Dye technique was geared towards upgrading their skills, which gives the women more opportunities to earn money and improve their economic status.

The women were given different workshops such as:

  1. Tie & Dye ( Fabric Design) as a technical skill.

  2. Entrepreneurship which included: goals setting and leadership skills, as well as, job creation.

  3. Bible studies.

The overall objective of the training was to provide them with knowledge and skills for creating their own businesses, which in turn would help restore self-dignity and end the cycle of poverty.

Esther’s Aid hired Business Coaches to educate these women on how they can market their products, work with small microfinance institutions, and form their own lending groups to help each other.

At our viisit on 7th February 2018:

  • 42 of them formed a group and they are working on their own now.

  • The production is continuous and sales of their product is improving.

  • A small number of them opted to secure jobs for themselves with the Chinese Garment Industry in Kigali.

In the photos below, they showed Esther’s Aid Country Director that the training provided to them was successful and has helped them to make money through the beautiful products that they created.

The fabrics that women made are Amazing!  People can use it in making bags, sofa and bed covers, shirts and many more things.

Though the women have been working, they have some challenges - such as the following:

  • The working place is very small. They need space to expand their trade.

  • Good Fabrics & colors are still being imported to Rwanda, which increases expenses and reduces their profit margins.



Dear Friends of Esther's Aid, 

I hope you enjoy this wonderful report about the miraculous training that has taken place through Esther's Aid.  As you will read below and see the beauriful pictures attached, these women have been transformed along with their lives and their hopes for a new and sustainable future.


More than 50 women from Rusororo who were prostitutes have received three months of extensive training in modern tie and dye techniques.  They were taught the process of tying and dyeing fabric, cloth or scarf, made from cotton.  The training will provide the women with the skills that they need to start a small business in their areas. This will empower rural women to move from unemployment to self-sufficiency, ending prostitution and poverty in their lives.

“Empowering women is the catalyst for positively impacting the future of the community towards a transformed society." said by Clare Effiong (Country Director and Founder Esther’s Aid).   She said that she is happy to see women become more powerful and she is so joyful when she sees their lives change.

Week one

On the first week of training students get the basic skills in tie and dye for the following lessons:

  • Introduction of tie and dye

  • Materials need for tie and dye

  • Types of colors

  • Use of equipments

“I was in bad condition of life where even I didn’t 500 RWF to buy potatoes for my children.  But when Esther’s Aid came here and told us about this training, I felt happy because I am going to learn how get out of poverty and it will help me to earn money and feed my family." said Claudine.

Week two:

On the week two of the training women trainer taught them about:

  • Colors mixture

  • Color combination

  • Name of color for dye

  • Types of clothes/name

The trainer used all possible ways to explain the lessons and she gave them notes.  She used English and the students got the notes translated in their local language when they arrived home.

Week three:

Third week of the training was about:

  • Basic knowledge of dyeing

  • Recipe for dye preparation

  • Procedure for tie and dyeing fabric

  • Dyeing fade materials

  • Note key for dyeing fade clothes

Week four:

Name of chemicals/ identification

  • Soda  caustic soda)

  • Hydrosulphite

  • Dye

Challenges that they have which are:

  • They don’t know if they could get the chemicals used in tie and dye easily.

  • There are some who can’t get money for the materials that can help them to learn the craft.

Success stories:

  • 9 fabrics were sold and they managed to earn 135 000Rwf from them.

  • 2 of the trainees managed to get employed by one of the Chinese clothes manufacturer in Masoro.

The local names and means of patterns (designs)

The trainees gave patterns local names so that they were meaningful.  It helped the women to introduce the new products in Rwanda and it will help them in the marketplace.

1.  Eleson URUMURI: This means light. It is significant because the skills training from Esther's Aid has brought LIGHT into their darkness. As this light shines through them, their lives will change for the best. 

2.  Envelope - INYENYERI
This envelope patterns, after folding and unfolding, it looks like STARS. They name it STARS because they will shine like stars with a bright future.

3.  Zebra- Crossing - Ubumwe:
They name it UBUMWE - Unity
They name this pattern UNITY because by unity, they will achieve and ascend greater heights.  Zebra crossing are lines on the road that help passengers to cross safely. It's like bonding together to cross the swamp of poverty to the mountaintop of abundance. They explained that, when you want to go fast, you go alone, but when you want to go far, you go with others.

4.  NEEDLE - ICYEREKEZO- This means Vision. As Esther's Aid took them when there were hopeless, gave them vision and hope through the fabric design skills, which will help them restore their hope for a better life.

 Prepared by: NDAMUKUNDA Olivier for Clare Effiong




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Organization Information

Esther's Aid For Needy and Abandoned Children, Inc

Location: New Rochelle, NY - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Under Construction
Project Leader:
Colleen Lehane
Executive Director, USA
New Rochelle, NY United States
$20,745 raised of $20,500 goal
292 donations
$0 to go
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