While many of us wish we could end modern slavery with a snap of our fingers and ‘free’ everyone trapped in those conditions, it may not feel possible. What would that actually look like? If people are simply taken out of slavery and left on their own, are they truly free? Or are they still impaired by the cyclical and systemic ramifications of living in slavery? Many survivors still have an abundance of battles to face after being removed from such a tightly structured life and being given a choice to do whatever they choose. The Freedom Hub prioritises short- and long-term rehabilitation and familiarisation of survivors into society.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Clara* every week for our Australian Culture Classes and English lessons. From the very beginning, Clara was beaming with excitement, yet understandably still quite shy and hesitant to speak English. However, as the weeks went on, I saw Clara gain more and more confidence with every lesson and interaction she had.
My personal favourite moment appears small on the surface but was so meaningful with context.
As one of our English lessons ended, Clara asked me if I could help her find something from the chemist the doctors recommended. So we went to the chemist together. We were struggling to find what we were looking for, so a staff member came up and offered assistance. Clara immediately stood behind me and was too afraid to say anything.
As I explained what we were after, the staff member gave Clara plenty of friendly smiles and made sure to include her in the conversation. Clara began to step out from behind me, then began to reply to her through me, and then started interacting fully on her own before being confident enough to say thank you and goodbye, and skip up to the register. In this seemingly small interaction, I watched someone who was too nervous about speaking, feeling comfortable and confident enough to ask for help and look after themselves start to gain that confidence.
“We don’t know what to do a lot, and it is hard to go places and talk to people. So we stay home a lot. We really love coming to classes because it is the only time we get to relax and learn and also have fun.” – Clara.
This is everything we want to see shine through survivors as we help them be confident enough to be independent and live their own lives.
Make a Difference
End-of-Year Giving – buy any end-of-year gifts from our shop with the security that 100% of the profits will support survivors of slavery in our survivor school.
The Freedom Fair – Meet ethical vendors on 3 December who are fighting modern-day slavery in their supply chains. Find out more here.
Join our Community
We have local volunteer teams that are always looking for new members, contact us here.
We issue monthly updates with events and action items, opt-in here.
If you would like to support a survivor, donate here. (tax-deductible)