India has the 4th largest number of trafficked persons in the world, with many trafficked from neighbouring cities, regions and even countries. We work in an area infamous for sex trafficking and child trafficking. Our team spends time running before and after school programs that focus on sports, mentoring and academic assistance. In conjunction with this, we also run regular sports camps where young boys from vulnerable backgrounds come together to play sport, learn and are encouraged to build a positive future for themselves. We also run safe homes for young women and young men, pre-school classes for young children, and offer other assistance to people in need.
You can read about our recent visit to India in our blog.
3622 individuals educated on trafficking
900 boys in our sports and mentoring program in 8 vulnerable communities
135 kids attending tuition and life skills classes everyday
56 women and children rescued from sex trafficking
43 boys admitted to school through sports program
13 women in the safe house
12 children enrolled in an early learning centre through our program
8 boys assisted in finding suitable and safe employment
3 sports and mentoring camps for 180 boys
(Statistics from 2016-2018 annual reports)
IMpact story (TRAFFICKING rescue)
In January 2017, The Freedom Project India (TFPI) received information that several women were being forced into sexual exploitation at three different establishments within the same vicinity. The team spent time planning the rescue of these women, in cooperation with local authorities. The team hit the first two target locations and successfully rescued 15 women. However, at the third location not a single victim was found and we suspected there may have been a tip-off.
After confirmation from the informer that it was the correct location, the team continued searching, and on closer inspection a team member noticed a hidden door that led to a secret passage. In this secret passage and adjacent room, 11 women were hiding, huddled together. The team was able to rescue them too. In total, a record number of 26 women were rescued. They had all been victims of commercial sexual exploitation. At last report, the women were residing in various shelter homes where they will be rehabilitated.
Impact Story (Soccer stars)
David*, aged 13, is from an underprivileged community in Bangalore. With an alcoholic father and a hardworking mother trying to keep the family afloat, the extra burden of trying to pay for school fees was too great. David decided education was not for him and he dropped out. Instead, he got caught up with other, local dropouts – many addicted to smoking, drinking and exploiting vulnerable children to support their habits. Two years in this environment was enough to allow David, at 15 years old, to slip into alcohol and smoking addition. To support his habit, he also began to resort to petty theft. It was a messy downward spiral.
Recently one of our soccer coaches was on a routine house visit near where David lived. Running into him nearby, the coach introduced David to our soccer program and he started coming along. Through ongoing soccer training, as well as life skills classes and personal mentoring, David began to recover from his addictions. Not long after, David also re-enrolled in a local school, as schooling is a compulsory aspect of being in our sports program.
Our sports program is a daily soccer and mentoring course that provides young boys with a safe environment to train, learn new skills, make new friends, and turn their life around. We seek to provide new opportunities for these students, while keeping them in school, out of trouble and a brighter future. Sometimes this may include professional soccer playing or coaching, while other times it may include further study, skills training and suitable job placement. Alongside this program, students are invested in, given positive role models to mentor them, and are educated about the risks and reality of slavery and exploitation. We are also involved in wider education in the community with stakeholders including police, schools and other community organisations.
Today, David is in Grade 8 a school and doing much better in his studies. When we met his mother on a home visit recently, she exclaimed with tears:
“I had decided to commit suicide because of the situation with my husband and son. Today, David is a changed boy and regular at school. I am a happy mother!”
David is just one of many hundreds that are transformed through our Sports and Mentoring program in India. For just $20 a month, you can keep 1 child like David in our program. Join now.
*Name has been changed.