It’s a Rebuild of confidence, lost dreams, and hopes for the future.
How Q1 has been a huge challenge for our survivors.
Many of us are unsure or not confident about going out or mixing in crowds again, yet we know we must. We know it is vital to socialise and be in a community for the sake of our mental health. Our body, mind, and spirit are not wired to be in isolation.
So try and imagine how it feels for a survivor of slavery right now. With limited English, no friends or family, and many with deteriorating motivation due to covid; it is daunting to venture out. So our goal for the first half of 2022 is to help survivors rebuild their confidence, rebuild their community and potentially rebuild the dreams set aside over the past two years.
“After two crazy years, we are striving to make 2022 a year to ‘REBUILD’.” Sally Irwin, Founder
What has been happening to rebuild our Survivor School?
1. A NEW Survivor School Manager.
Amelia started with us in February with the ‘hands-on’, ‘get-out-there’, and be ‘face to face’ drive that we have been looking for. She is meeting survivors in cafes and parks all over Sydney, where ever they feel safest. She has had years of experience working with multi-cultural victims of war and trauma overseas and teaching CALD backgrounds in Australia. Filled with energy and passion we are grateful for her willingness to do whatever it takes to get survivors out of their homes and back into the community.
Amelia is pictured here teaching a year 9 class from Emanuel School last week about slavery and Passover. Being Jewish herself, she has a lot of thought-provoking ideas for the many Jewish students who hold bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs at The Freedom Hub. This comes as a bonus for us because we did not know she had this background!!
2. A NEW part-time Admin assistant.
So that Amelia can be out meeting survivors we have employed Ashlea to take on a lot of the administrative work of writing case notes and managing online e-learning assignments. Ashlee also teaches a number of the Survivor School classes online. Ashlee comes to us as a recent Social Work graduate and she was invaluable to us when she did her social work placement with us in 2021.
3. NEW Education Coaches.
With more survivors wanting to re-engage and rebuild their life, Amelia has worked hard to train and equip more education coaches. Three new survivors in Brisbane now have face-to-face coaching as do some of our older clients in living Canberra. In Sydney, we have 6 coaches working hard to keep classes and tutoring running. Our Brisbane team has been going above and beyond the call of duty. Collecting survivors from their homes to take them to medical appointments, parks, and libraries for class. All three survivors have almost no English and are fearful of leaving their house. Our team has taught them how to catch a train, load up a travel pass, how to use google maps and a mobile phone. They feel free-er than they have ever felt after what feels like a lifetime of servitude, forced labour, and a violent marriage.
4. A NEW timetable.
Rebuilding confidence and willingness to learn has required a new timetable of classes, interactive workshops, and fun social outings. Swimming classes are back, art therapy, and trauma-informed yoga all help our survivors’ mental health and confidence. We even have a Theatre Games workshop coming up to build confidence.
With 87 survivors on our books at the moment, we are still needing more teachers and more social event leaders to help make the rebuild grow faster. Contact us to find out more about volunteering HERE.
A Good Story from Queensland Survivor
“In our ‘Living in Australia’ class, we are learning about Australian Landmarks this week. We combined that with practical skills and so this week, we learned how to look up things on Google. We were practicing by typing the names of animals into Google and then looking at images. We were also learning how to use Google maps and seeing how far away Uluru was from Brisbane. We talked about how these skills could be used to get around- search for directions to walk to the shops or park. She loved learning about the different animals and loved to paint this at the end of the lesson. She said that she had never used watercolors before and enjoyed that her mind went calm as we painted together and she said she found it really relaxing.”
2022 Goals to Rebuild the Reach of our Survivor School
We currently have teams in Sydney, Illawarra, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Bundaberg, Canberra, Melbourne, and Perth. These teams are all raising awareness, doing advocacy, and running fundraisers. Our goal is to have these teams also teach our Survivor School curriculum as we identify more survivors in each state. To do this we need to employ trauma-informed Team Oversights in each state and this requires funding. We will start with 16 hours a week so we hope to raise $37,000 in each state. Perhaps you can help? click here.
” With an estimated 55,000 victims of slavery in Australia, we have a lot of work to do because we are still the only specialised long-term care for survivors of slavery in Australia.” Sally Irwin, Founder
If you would like to find out the many ways you can help, go to our “Get Involved” page.
Save The Date …
19th May | ‘Friends” Trivia Night |. Grab a group of friends at your place and zoom in for a night of fun trivia. | fundraiser tickets on sale soon
2nd July | The Freedom Fair | Waterloo Venue. | Meet ethical vendors, with a heart to help people and help the world.
30th July | Fivers for Survivors | National Campaign | Gather your work friends &/or family, have a party and donate $5 to end slavery
Follow our Instagram FB or Linkedin page for details as we get closer to these dates.