The first case of Covid-19 was recorded in Kenya on 12th March 2020. The government response was swift with advice of suspension of public gathering immediately as well as including measures towards social distancing. In addition, the government imposed police curfew as well as locked some cities and towns and even some areas within cities (e.g. Eastleigh in Nairobi). Most of the survivors of trafficking in our program depend on small businesses for their livelihood. However, due to the partial lock down in Kenya, their businesses were greatly impacted because they could not operate. A heavy burden was thus left on these survivors to provide for their families; with businesses closed and their school going children being home due to the lock down. There is a risk of re-trafficking both during and after the Covid-19 pandemic as families are desperate looking for opportunities to avoid eviction from their homes, avoid hunger and pay for education for children.
This project aimed to offer temporary financial support to survivors of human trafficking and modern slavery in Kenya. The project sought to support 100 survivors and their families for five months in order to preserve their livelihoods. Through this campaign HAART was able to raise USD 44,583 (from both GlobalGiving and other platforms.
HAART continues to offer basic cash support for basic supplies such as rent, food and necessary items such as soap for the victims to be able to get through the current crisis. HAART managed to offer support to one hundred and sixty (160) survivors with basic needs services. Our support extended abroad to a group of 11 Kenyan women stuck in Saudi Arabia. We referred the cases to an external organization that will be assisting in their repatriation once the travel ban is lifted. In the meantime, we are providing them and their families with basic needs. We are also offering support to 1 victim in Iraq, 4 victims in India, 3 Nepalese,, 3 in Uganda, 1 in Tanzania, and 1 victim in Thailand- a mother with a young baby. With assistance from a partner organization, a survivor from Bahrain was repatriated back to Kenya. The three Nepalese survivors had been under the care of HAART and were repatriated back to their country last year. The three reached out to us due to the difficulties brought about by the pandemic.
In this season, HAART partnered with a local supermarket to provide a care package containing food and basic necessities for the survivors. We are also supplementing this with an amount to cater for perishables that need to be purchased on a daily basis. For survivors overseas, we offer food support by sending them about USD 50- 70. We have supported survivors living in different parts of the country and abroad with rent. We were also able to get temporary shelter for two adults before settling them back into the community. We had a survivor in India who had been locked out of her house due to rent arrears. All her belongings had been locked in and her passport was needed by a partner organization assisting with repatriation. HAART was able to settle her rent arrears and she was able to access her passport and finally move back to her house.
There has been a steady increase in the need for psychosocial support for survivors during the pandemic. HAART offered therapy through the telephone and online platforms to survivors. We ensured that survivors had airtime of USD 20- 30 for every session. The main reason survivors wanted therapy was due to elevated levels of stress and anxiety. HAART hired an additional therapist to assist with the high number of survivors in need of therapy.
We also supported victims with medical aid. The cost of medical care can be quite high, we had survivors enrolled into the National Health Insurance Fund. We walked with survivors through various medical challenges such as stomach ulcers, severe depression, dental care just to mention a few. We also enrolled our expectant survivors into the Linda Mama program. However, we had a Burundian survivor who could not fit into any of the local medical care programs and HAART facilitated her maternal care. She delivered a healthy baby girl.
Your donations have gone a long way and your continued support help touch the heart of a human trafficking survivor.