Connection is at the core of the work that we do here at The Freedom Hub. Unfortunately, like many businesses, lockdowns and stay-at-home orders had vast and lasting impacts on us, our survivors, our staff, our volunteers, our café, and the overall running of the Freedom Hub Survivor School. With the inability to continue running our regular classes and lessons, attend survivor homes, host survivor groups at our usual locations, or provide the much-needed aid that many of our survivors were in desperate need of, we felt pretty helpless.
A push to go online
Pre-pandemic, our Survivor School classes were exclusively offered in person. Over the last two years, however, we have worked hard to move our existing curriculum library (in its entirety) online. We redeveloped all of our classes, lessons, and educational materials into e-friendly formats. While this was challenging, taking our Survivor School online means we can reach more survivors regardless of their proximity to our school or their ability and willingness to attend in person. We now offer support, education, and assistance in new ways, to greater numbers and can accommodate survivors who are not yet ready or don’t yet have the courage or willingness to attend in-person classes, groups, or Freedom Hub events.
2022, the year of connection
For us, 2022 was a year of connection for our Survivor School. Post-pandemic, our priority this year was to reengage with survivors, really connect with survivors, reconnect our survivors to others and reconnect survivors to their local communities.
From not knowing anything to blossoming
One of our survivors had been in Australia for seven months when we first connected. She didn’t have any existing knowledge about Sydney or Australia. She did not know the address or contact details of the home she was residing in. Our endeavour to reconnect with her and connect her with her local community led her to enrol in our Living in Australia course and our English language course, and she began attending weekly one-on-one classes.
She has since expressed an interest in working within the childcare and early education sector, gained her WWCC (Working with Children Check) and is well on her way to a fruitful career working with children.
Over the year, we have seen her build her courage and watched her self-esteem really blossom. She has been a regular attendee at many of our Freedom School survivor outings and events over the year. The first survivor outing she attended was an outing to Strike bowling and Timezone, where survivors split into two teams and spent the morning bowling, followed by an afternoon of playing games, collecting tickets, and winning prizes at Timezone.
Following the outing, one of our staff members commented on how happy this survivor seemed throughout the activities of the day, noting that the staff member had not previously seen our survivor smile the way she did that day. We have thoroughly enjoyed watching our survivor’s personality shine and her face light up as she connects with other survivors, engages and connects with her community, experiences new things, and pushes the boundaries of her comfort zone.
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)