The Freedom Hub, based in Sydney, NSW, exists to end slavery in Australia; help people who have experienced this crime recover, and partner in the fight to end global slavery.
Its Survivor Schools provide long-term wrap around support, running free, personalised classes, workshops, and peer support programs to assist survivors recovery from complex trauma, find community, and help them become ready for work.
Its social enterprises businesses, including a café, event venue and online retail, not only cover most of the organisation’s administration costs and serve as a focal point for community awareness and involvement.
With $29,990 from 100 Women in 2018, The Freedom Hub expanded their ability to support women survivors of slavery by establishing a second Freedom Survivor School in Brisbane, Queensland. Over the project period, a team of staff and volunteers worked ceaselessly to support six survivors to recover and rebuild their lives.
One survivor in Queensland was on the run after 15 years in slavery and had no clothes or personal items. She needed everything…”Sally Irwin, Founder, The Freedom Hub
Activities under the 100 Women Survivor School Grant included:
- Provision of essential items such as food, clothing, accommodation
- Group social outings and educational excursions built community, friendships and personal safety.
- Fun and relaxing classes built relationships and trust with peers and mentors.
- Women were taught to have self-determination and make personal choices. Choice is something that has been stripped from their lives and can mentally paralyse them.
Deciding which bus to take, what career to pursue, what to buy at the shops are basic skills required to recover from slavery and the first steppingstone to success.
- Women were supported to join community groups of her choice, so she can build a network of support.
- Women were taught literacy and life skills including budgeting and communication.
- They were supported to prepare for work experience. Mentors oversee their work placements, so the women gain confidence and have the social skills they need within a workplace or during training that prepares them for work.
Two of our Queensland survivors were under 18 and on the run from forced marriage and an abusive controlling family. They needed to make huge decisions regarding where to live, how to live and to protect themselves from being found. Through our courses, they gained so much confidence, that they are now studying so they can finish school and get a better job.Sally Irwin, Founder, The Freedom Hub
For more information about Modern Slavery, view The Freedom Hub blog posts here.