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Background on Destiny from Adria’s Perspective

04 Nov 2009, by elance programmer in Uncategorized

Posted by Adria Doll

These last two weeks have presented me with encouraging accomplishments as well as heartbreaking situations. But I discuss anything else, let me give a brief description of the non-governmental organization (NGO) I am working most closely with.

Many, not all, of the women and girls I am working with were trafficked into forced prostitution at a young age. Trafficking can happen a few different ways. Usually girls, ranging in ages from six to eighteen or so, are one: sold by relatives; two: sent into the “city” for the promise “better life and job or education”; or three: are kidnapped from their homes. The traffickers are people, usually men, who then turn around an sell the victims to brothels in red light districts of big Asian cities (also North American and European cities. The girls (and sometimes boys) who end up in Kolkata’s brothels are typically from the neighbouring countries of Nepal and Bangladesh as well as remote northeastern Indian villages. Among those who are fortunate enough to escape or be rescued, many end up in what is referred to as a shelter home.

Destiny Foundation is an NGO financially supported by the business platform of Reflection…so we call the whole operation: Destiny’s Reflection. Destiny works with shelter homes around Kolkata to offer training, education, and general life skills to girls so they can become independent and financially secure. Once the women have reached a certain skill level in handicraft work (stitching, embroidery, block printing, etc) Reflection will offer them a job. The market right now is mostly American; our primary importer is The Emancipation Network (http://madebysurvivors.com/destiny), but Destiny’s Reflection is looking to expand into the Canadian and European markets. All of this is done under “fair trade” rules, basically meaning the women are given a living wage for the work they do versus payment as “cheap outsourced labour.” Destiny Reflection also supports children at risk for trafficking and other vulnerable populations in the city and surrounding rural areas through sponsorships for education, etc.

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