Building on successful focus group interviews with Pathfinders’ beneficiaries conducted in August 2021, Pathfinders held a Stakeholders’ Meeting with 21 of its key stakeholders on September 14, 2021 to introduce ‘The Redemption Project’ (‘TRP’), a Project which will provide support for 50 beneficiaries (sex trafficking survivors and women who at risk to becoming trafficked) and launch HERS (Hub of Economic Resources for Survivors) Africa, Africa’s first online, one-stop hub of resources for survivors of sex trafficking. The platform will be both trauma informed and survivor centered.
During the meeting, Pathfinders introduced TRP, informed stakeholders of the plan for the design and implementation of TRP and presented the data synthesis generated from the focus groups which outlined beneficiaries’ thoughts on what would be beneficial to them on the HERS Africa platform. The presentation captured varying data, including beneficiaries’ status, age group, demography, local governments of origin, marital and parental status, level of education and employment status- all of which helped to identify the needs of beneficiaries. The data also captured the beneficiaries’ medium of access to the HERS online platform, with a a high percentage of beneficiaries indicating that the platform would be accessed via their smartphones. For those who have no access, Pathfinders will make available devices and more importantly, develop an e-learning lab to accommodate and train beneficiaries and other users on how to navigate the HERS Online platform. In addition to the foregoing, resource links to vocational skill training centers, emergency business loan platforms and other federal agencies and NGOs will be included on the HERS platform to support the platform’s users. Video content on the HERS online platform will include mental, physical and sexual health resources, among others. Each video will be prepared in consultation with a psychologist to ensure that it is both survivor centred and trauma informed, as well as relevant to beneficiaries’ needs. They will be captured in English, pidgin and other local dialects.
Following the presentation, Pathfinders welcomed the expertise and contributions of stakeholders, all of whom expressed excitement about the Project and appreciated both the timeliness and holistic nature of same.
We are grateful for the presence and recommendations of all organizations who joined the meeting and to the European Commission and Expertise France for their support in bringing our vision for TRP to life. We believe the Project will serve to holistically address the unique and complete needs of African survivors, as they navigate a path towards self-sustainability and economic independence.