anti human trafficking

Red Light on abuse. STOP!

Our Anti Human Trafficking goal is to help those that are abused to see themselves with new eyes, God’s redemptive eyes, restored and released in wholeness!

From January – March 2020

Our four beneficiaries attended group work and individual case counseling every Tuesday and Thursday. The mornings start with small healthy breakfast and then a devotion where we read the scriptures from the Bible and then discuss spiritual matters and crippling beliefs.

This year is quite different as we are also using the Project Exodus Recovery material which is translated in IsiZulu though our Restore Co-ordinator and Counsellor, Gugu Mazwele.

In addition, Gugu says each lady has had to appoint their own accountability partner (within the programme or external) with whom they report to and account for their actions, decisions and finances.

The Red Light Release Co-ordinator Esther Madikane is away on maternity at the moment.

Other helpful independent interventions include financial literacy lessons from our volunteer Financial Planner to help the beneficiaries to create a budget and to teach them how to start saving their money so they are equipped and empowered once they exit the programme.

During COVID-19 lockdown, Gugu has been in contact with the ladies via Whatsapp video calls, #StayingConnected by sending them motivational messages to keep them to help them stay focused and accountable.

Gugu chatting to one of the beneficiaries via Whatsapp call

 

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COMBATTING SLAVERY TOGETHER

In addition to its primary work of reaching out, restoring and releasing survivors of exploitation and human-trafficking, The Domino Foundation’s Red Light’s programme has the vision to collaborate with other groups to influence South African decision-makers to act to reduce human-trafficking in our country. Red Light also aims to raise awareness of human-trafficking in a society which is largely unaware of the enormity and extent of this plague in our nation.

The Red Light programme is the KZN point-of-contact for The National Freedom Network (NFN), a group of people and organisations around South Africa working to combat human-trafficking. The aim is to connect and interact with like-minded persons and groups to exchange information, share resources and best practices, and develop professional contacts in the counter-human-trafficking field.

In 2009, a symposium was held to engage relevant high-level stakeholders on the topic of human- trafficking. Cherie Blair, patron of the international anti-trafficking organisation “Stop the Traffik” and wife of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, was the keynote speaker. Because the nature of the crime of human-trafficking calls for a collaborative response, an outcome of the event was the highlighting of the need for all the parties dealing the scourge of human-trafficking to co-ordinate their efforts.

The following year, a base was established for the Network and critical areas to be addressed were identified. The National Freedom Network (NFN) was formally launched in May 2011, growing into a solid national network of anti-human-trafficking role-players across South Africa.

Curbing the scourge of human-trafficking is a critical priority of the National Prosecuting Authority. Red Light is also a part of the HHPPB (Human Trafficking, Harmful Traditional Practices, Pornography, Prostitution and Brothels) taskforce. This body was established to combat human-trafficking with local government and organisations.  In KZN, the task team has been operating since 2008 and is driven by the National Prosecuting Authority’s Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit. The team comprises some 35 organisations including the South African Police Service, government departments, non-government organisations and international organisations.

Twenty first century slavery in its many forms has tens of millions of people caught in its ugly tentacles. As many as 40 million men, women and children are enslaved worldwide and each year the illicit trade in human beings generates US$150 billion. Human-trafficking in South Africa ranges from sex trafficking through child labour, domestic servitude, organ smuggling, child-brides, illegal child adoptions and debt-bondage to the use of body parts for muti. Often hidden from sight, slavery is a problem which numbers among its victims millions of children.

Just as young people are brutalised by this appalling crime against humanity, young people also are making their voices heard in the fight against human trafficking. In response to the CNN Freedom Project, students around the globe joined in #MyFreedomDay on Wednesday 14 March, both to highlight modern slavery and celebrate freedom.

The Grade 12 students at Northlands Girls High School in Durban North came together in solidarity with the many South Africans their age and younger who are entrapped in some aspect of slavery. The school partners with a number of The Domino Foundation’s seven programmes, one of which is Red Light. It is envisaged that Red Light will partner with other schools in Durban to promote awareness of the enormity of this social ill afflicting South Africa and challenge the learners on how they can make a difference to heal this blight in our society.

If you are stirred to join the fight against modern-day slavery and human-trafficking, contact Esther at redlight@domino.org.za or want to find out more about the programme, click here.

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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.

 

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