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RED LIGHT UPDATE 1st QUARTER

Planning has been a keynote item on the agenda for the Red Light programme before the start of 2018 and as the year has unfolded…what are the programme’s objectives for the year, how many ladies the programme would accommodate, what programmes and activities at the Drop-in Centre would be most impactful and beneficial in equipping and empowering the sex-trafficked survivors spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially and cognitively to fulfil their purpose and destiny through Red Light’s restoration programme.

At the start of the year, Red Light’s Release Phase took in five beneficiaries all of whom had been in the Restore Phase in 2017. The process of this Phase is a tailor-made programme catering to each beneficiary’s needs…temporary provision, up-skilling, education, vocational training, and possible job placement as well as ensuring that the beneficiary is sustainably released back into society and is employable.

The Release Phase has a number of specific aspects to help the beneficiaries into wholeness before they step into “freedom”. The weekly biblical teaching sessions cater for the beneficiaries’ spiritual development, helping them understand how to apply God’s Word to their daily lives. ‘Personal Growth’ is a nine session process where behaviour change, setting goals and developing a personal long-term vision is dealt with. On a very practical short and long-term level, Red Light’s financial advisor volunteer runs monthly financial planning sessions for the ladies on budgeting, expense recording and saving. As so many of the beneficiaries have little or no formal qualifications, the question of what employment opportunities will be open to then when they leave the programme is crucial.  Many have not completed their Matric and so arrangements have been made for them to complete their high school studies with the Department of Education over a period of 10 months as from August. Red Light is seeking funding for its beneficiaries to be able to complete their Matric studies and welcomes enquiries from individuals and companies keen to partner with the programme in this regard. To complement this, the beneficiaries completed an online Career Guidance assessment. As a result, one of beneficiaries completed a secretarial, administration and computer course and two more will be attending an End User computer course in May. Another beneficiary is on the Domino Skills Development programme and will be doing her ECD Studies as well as a First Aid Level 1 later in the year with a view to becoming a Grade R teacher. One of the beneficiaries is attending vocational training with one of Red Light’s partners five days a week and earning a good living wage. Her excellent work ethic is likely to open other opportunities. Once our beneficiaries have obtained their qualifications, possible job placements will commence. Red Light would like to form relationships with corporate partners wanting to provide vocational training for the beneficiaries in a range of career opportunities. If you are able to offer a temporary placement for shadowing, please contact Esther (redlight@domino.org.za).

After the highly publicised murder of a sex worker in Durban North, has shocked the city into realising that the scourge of human-trafficking, drugs, prostitution and brothels is far wider-spread  than many had previously wanted to acknowledge. The new awareness has resulted in Red Light being approached by community and local papers about its views to the whole issue of human-trafficking and on how society needs to respond to the victims of this ugly large-scale business which blights our city and nation.

The increasing awareness of and concern about human-trafficking in all its guises (prostitution, under-age and slave labour, child ‘brides’ and much more) has led to the setting up of the HHPPB (Human Trafficking, Harmful Traditional Practices, Pornography, Prostitution and Brothels) Task Team. This body’s purpose is to consider and implement programmes which will heighten awareness of this multi-faceted problem and equip young people in particular to protect themselves and others against falling prey to human-trafficking. Red Light has been involved in monthly Task Team meetings where new documents, materials and systems are being implemented in the 2018 action plan.

With regard to promoting awareness of human-trafficking, Domino responded to the CNN Freedom Project in which students around the globe joined #MyFreedomDay on Wednesday 14 March both to highlight modern slavery and celebrate freedom. Read more here.

The making of the distinctive “Create Freedom” jewellery from the bark of the fever tree is a crucial part of Red Light’s funding and a full range of products has been finalised and a launch date of the Online Store is eagerly awaited.

Esther (redlight@domino.org.za) would be delighted to give you further information on Red Light’s actiities and on how you can be part of this impactful programme.