‘There’s no such thing as slavery today’.
I’ve heard this phrase uttered too many times to count.
Here’s the reality though: 45.8 million estimated slaves worldwide.
If you didn’t know that figure, there’s absolutely no judgement. Human trafficking simply doesn’t get shouted about enough in mainstream media. But it’s a HUGE problem. A complex, awful problem. A problem we should all be passionate about.
Well, because victims are often young, abused, forced into situations where they’re unsafe and vulnerable.
If you’re in the UK and thinking that all of those victims are being held and trafficked far away, shockingly The Home Office estimates that there are 13,000 in slavery in the country at any given time. This is a global problem but it’s also a local fight too.
There are many incredible people working to tackle the trafficking rings who are ruining lives every day and many people have been brought out of captivity in recent years.
A person is freed, but what happens next?
In this post I want to highlight the work of an incredible project whose heart is to support and rehabilitate victims of trafficking.
Restore is based in my home town of Exeter, they work closely with victims of modern day slavery to ensure they can rebuild their lives in a safe environment. They provide skills, advice and encouragement to restore hope, dignity and purpose to those who’ve been in traumatising circumstances.
Anna Silva Carvalho, a current volunteer with Restore, comments that the charity ‘strives to be a project driven by compassion, not funding, and it is determined to see lives, all of which are incredibly valuable, rebuilt and flourishing. I can’t go on enough about how important this cause is, and I hope that people across the country are inspired to create and support their own local projects,’
BBC News recently did a feature about their fantastic work, which you can watch below.
Why not check out Restore’s mission statement to find out more about the heart behind their work?
What I love most about Restore is how their recovery process combines both practical and emotional development. Not only do they equip those in their care with skills and knowledge but they also prioritise the emotional well-being of the individual. The project helps them gain their independence whilst also making sure they’re mentally healthy enough to thrive in the future.
As Restore point out on their site, ‘What good is it to escape traffickers, only to re-live the trauma over and over again every day in your mind?’
The charity is currently working on creating a safe house to home 4 female survivors, providing safety, stability and the opportunity to rebuild their lives. You can contribute to furnishing this vital project here.
Interested in finding out more about the fantastic work Restore are doing? Why not give their website a visit and subscribe to their newsletter for more information.
Plus, if you’re interested in giving back to more incredible initiatives, you can use Eventbrite to find and plan non-profit fundraising events!
Feature photo by Mauricio O.