BENIN CITY, EDO STATE- AUGUST 2021. ‘The Redemption Project’ (TRP) is an 18-month Project launched in August 2021 by Pathfinders, with support from the European Commission and implementation by Expertise France.
TRP will provide Direct Services – Wrap Around Care, including free medical services, counseling/mental health support, shelter, education scholarships, financial literacy classes, adult education classes, job placement, vocational skills training and start-up capital for forty (40) women survivors of human trafficking and ten (10) at-risk beneficiaries.
In addition, TRP will also launch HERS (Hub of Economic Resources for Survivors) Online, phase II of our 2019 HERS Project, which provided in-person support to 36 survivors of sex trafficking in Nigeria. HERS Online which will serve as the only digital ‘one-stop’ resource hub in Africa to address the unique and complete needs of African survivors as they navigate a path towards self-sustainability and economic independence. As a secure, log-in required platform available to survivors (regardless of their location), it will include varying content, including but not limited to prerecorded video training, resource links for vetted jobs and skills training, expert legal advice on their rights and the prosecution of cases, expert medical recommendations as well as a thriving community of other survivors. HERS Online will be a survivor informed platform that was co-created by survivors, for survivors (“if it’s for us, it’s by us!”) and as such, its contents/resources will be tailored around what survivors have informed us would be useful to support their rehabilitation and reintegration.
To launch the Project, on the 19th of August 2021, we successfully organized a business training for (40) survivors of sex trafficking and ten (10) at-risk women. Because the Project will provide vocational skills training to some and start-up capital to start small businesses to others, all 50 beneficiaries were taught the requisite essentials to starting a business, including budgeting, saving, accounting, customer service and distinguishing your business from others in the same field. It was an interactive and engaging session, which afforded beneficiaries the opportunity to ask questions and proffer recommendations to their peers.
In an effort to ensure that HERS Online’s content remains current and relevant (in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and Nigeria’s economic downturn), Pathfinders also conducted four focus groups (made up of 10 beneficiaries each and led by PJI facilitators with support from our survivor advocates) to further develop the contents/resources that would be most useful at this time to the online platform.
We are grateful 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. Thank you!