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Liberty For Life: A Thank You From 1000 Women

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A Thank You From 1000 Women
Liberty, For Life

A Thank You From 1000 Women

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To mark International Women's Day, Red Godfrey Sagoo - CEO of our ongoing Liberty, For Life charity partner, The Sophie Hayes Foundation, whose 1000 Women initiative helps to support women survivors of modern slavery and human trafficking through to independence and employability - offers her thanks to the Liberty community, and shares notes from some of the women who have been touched by your generosity. With your support, Liberty, For Life has raised over £93, 798, and donated 35,000 essential face coverings to those who need them most.

"As we continue to support women survivors of human trafficking in these challenging times, I would like to thank Liberty for their ongoing support of our ‘1000 Women Liberty for Life’ initiative. Each time a pack of face masks is purchased from Liberty, a pack is also donated to our survivors. This gives them the freedom to live life in a way that most of us take for granted. Words alone cannot convey their gratitude for the chance to have a face covering that is reusable, comfortable - and fashionable. They are comforted to know they have not been forgotten either as victims of trafficking or the impact of the pandemic. Your contributions enable us to support our survivor’s on a path to true independence." Red Godfrey Sagoo

Shani

Thank you to Liberty for the masks. I feel valued and grateful.

Shani was trafficked as a teenager and sold into prostitution. She escaped the violence and abuse after 10 years when she was arrested. She now lives with the shame of having a criminal record and the fear of being found and sold again.

Through Sophie Hayes Foundation, she learnt she could go to school, was worth educating and could be the “boss of me”. After completing the Sophie Hayes Employability Programme Shani is in college studying, with aim of going to University to study psychology so she can be self supporting and live an independent life.

Jeanna

I appreciated that someone thought of me and cared to send such lovely masks.

When Jeanna heard about a job in the UK, she thought her dreams had come true. She was to work in a big house as a housekeeper and they were going to help pay for the airfare. But the dream was a nightmare, the house was for men to come and go. Men that paid for her to do what they wanted again and again.

Jeanna eventually escaped and spent years on the streets homeless, scared of the world and her life. Through the kindness of strangers, she was connected to the Sophie Hayes Foundation, who helped her develop skills to be self supporting and live an independent life. For the first time, at 58, she has hope for the future.

Kila

I am relieved I have the masks, now I can go to the shops. They help me feel safe.

Kila was captivated by a man in her village. He said he wanted to marry her and build a new life in the UK. It sounded exciting, she thought she had nothing to lose. When they got to London, he took Kila to a house with an old woman and left, taking her phone, passport, everything. The woman told her she had to pay for the room, food, heat, light, and to repay the cost of the air ticket. Kila had to accept the violence and abuse and the men that came into her room every day, every night, with no hope of escape.

One day a woman at a bus stop asked Kila if she was OK, she brought her a coffee and heard her story. She took Kila to a safe place and her journey to freedom began then. Kila is now at Sophie Hayes Foundation working through a national scheme to gain skills towards living an independent life.

Dipka

I am very happy to have the masks. It will save me money and that is very helpful.

Dipika married a man chosen by her family, as was their custom. When they moved to London the man became violent. She had no friends, money or phone. Her husband invited other men to the house, encouraging them to do whatever they wanted to her and participating in the violent abuse. One particularly violent attack left Dipika in hospital and her husband was arrested for ABH. His family threatened to kill her if she said anything to the police. When she came home her husband cancelled the marriage visa that legally allowed her to stay in the UK, leaving her homeless and stateless.

Dipika is now fighting to be a legal free woman, working with Sophie Hayes Foundation to have a life of her own and not feel shame.

Liberty’s support through donating masks to survivors and contributions to the the Sophie Hayes Foundation allows many more survivors of human trafficking to take steps on her path to empowerment and sustainable freedom. #sustainablefreedom #IndependencethroughEmployability #ChooseToChallenge #IWD2021

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