Made by Survivors: Fighting Slavery with Education, Empowerment, Employment and Hope
By: Sarah Symons
Made by Survivors, a new partner with the Red Thread Movement, is a nonprofit social enterprise working in Nepal, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Uganda and the US since 2005, helping survivors of trafficking to create bright and slavery-free futures. The mission of Made by Survivors is to ensure permanent freedom for survivors and their children, as well as women and children at extreme risk, by giving them the tools to protect themselves: economic empowerment, awareness of their rights, and education. Through our school sponsorship, job training, and employment programs, as well as construction projects to provide housing, clean energy and safe water to survivors in shelter homes, MBS is changing the lives of over a thousand survivors.
Made By Survivors is excited to partner with the Red Thread Movement because we share the vision that survivors are not defined by the horror and abuse of their past – each woman or girl has her own unique dreams, talents, and potential, and deserves the opportunity to reach her full potential in a healing and nurturing environment. We are amazed by the progress survivors make in the programs: those recently rescued may be angry, withdrawn or severely depressed and traumatized. After six months they are smiling shyly, laughing out loud, and beginning to believe a future is possible for them. After a year or two, they are solving problems, helping others to escape or avoid slavery, speaking out about human rights, and challenging us to match their energy and commitment!
Made By Survivors needs help from students to keep our courageous survivors moving forward. We have recently launched two pioneering programs in South Asia teaching survivors to become artisan goldsmiths – 50 young women in Mumbai and Calcutta are now practicing this highly respected trade with great skill and creativity. Students can help by selling stylish and meaningful jewelry and other products (such as bags or holiday cards) made by our survivors, at Red Thread events on their campuses, in sororities, dorms or student clubs, or just by hosting a social justice holiday party in their dorm rooms.
Student groups can keep a percentage of profits from the sale of MBS products for the group’s activities, or to donate to Red Thread or other charitable purposes. The remaining profits go back into programs helping women and children survivors of slavery to rebuild their lives. Cool and unique products that change lives, raising money for worthy causes – it is truly a win-win situation!
Contact Brittany@RedThreadMovement.org if you would like to get involved with MBS!
For more information: www.MadebySurvivors.com