September 2023 Updates

The Freedom School

Our construction of dormitories & headquarters at the Freedom School is nearly complete!  Over the course of the year, Anjali and the team in Nuwakot, Nepal have been overseeing the construction of 2 buildings, across the road from one another. The dormitory building will provide a safe home for up to 50 girls who are at high risk and who live too far to walk to and from school each day. The headquarters building houses study & training rooms, a virtual classroom/digital center,teacher/staff quarters and guest rooms for visiting teachers, trainers and volunteers. Come on one of our immersion trips and see it for yourself >

Kolkata Learning Center

Did you know our Learning Center in the Sonagachi red light area of Kolkata is also Kolkata’s first NGO co-working space?  Currently, 8 nonprofits working on trafficking and other forms of sexual & gender based violence are sharing the space. The beautiful, historic building which we finished renovating in early 2022 is now fully operational and being enjoyed by hundreds of women and kids. The Center has classrooms, counseling rooms, a large meeting/workshop space, Bakery, Photography, and Jewelry training programs, offices, and outreach programs serving women in the red light community. Recently we welcomed two new partners – Calcutta Rescue and The Apple of God’s Eyes – into the space.

NEW PROGRAM: Second Generation Kidderpore

Last month we launched a new program in the Kidderpore red light area of Kolkata. It is a thrift shop, and education program for children who are not (yet) enrolled in school. Kidderpore is the oldest and poorest of Kolkata’s five red light districts. In this new project, women are working their way out of exploitation by operating a thrift shop selling clothes donated from local private schools. The community loves being able to buy quality clothing at very affordable prices. The women are learning business skills, earning, and proud to be part of positive change in their community. Sonali Biswas (former beneficiary now on HFC management team) is going to the area several times a week to lead remedial education classes for the children of the community. The children’s mothers are mostly trafficked women and without intervention, the kids are at extreme risk for exploitation and a grim future. Sonali is dreaming something better for them, and we are too!

Economic Independence for All! - 2023 Vocational Training Courses

Over the past year, we have provided 6-12 month vocational training courses to 255 survivors and vulnerable women!  Options included Computers, Spoken English, Bakery & Cafe Management, Beautician, Textile Printing, Sewing, Metalsmithing & Jewelry Design and Wedding/Event Photography. 74% of trainees increased their income after taking a course (95% in the computer program), and the average increase in income was 460%!  Trainees also showed significant improvement in their social-emotional wellness, financial literacy and life skills (measured by pre- and post-training assessment tests)
We were able to offer these programs with support from the Ashmore Foundation, Guru Krupa Foundation and generous individual donors. 

Beautician Class

Computer Class

Sewing Class