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Breaking the bonds of Bonded Labor

22.10.2009 in Uncategorized

In Firojpur, a remarkable group of children who were recently working as slaves alongside their parents are now learning to read and write in a simple bamboo bungalow.  They are students at TEN’s Freedom School in Uttar Pradesh, India. The hands now weilding pencils held instead the tools of heavy labor, working in quarries or toiling on farms from dawn to dusk, and the future seemed devoid of other alternatives.   milies are enslaved in bonded labor across South Asia. They never see the benefits of their dirty, dangerous or degrading work -Instead, they are working off ‘debts’ typically less than $100, which only accumulate over time as the system is designed to keep them in bondage indefinitely. Threats of violence, or actual violence, serve to keep them enslaved, and many do not realize that bonded labor is an illegal practice.

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How Can We Fight Slavery if We Can’t Measure the Problem?

14.10.2009 in Uncategorized

Recently, the US Government's Department of Health and Human Services released a survey of all the research on human trafficking, sex trafficking, and slavery in The United States. It’s a great report and you can read it here. The inescapable conclusion from the report is that there is no consistent and reliable body of research about slavery in the US. We don’t know how many slaves are here, how many are trafficked each year, or where to find them.

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Bodyguards

11.10.2009 in Uncategorized

 Last weekend I went to visit the night shelter in Kidderpore red light community. On my way I had to walk through the brothel lanes, and I was crushed to see one of the teenage girls that used to stay at the night shelter lined up outside a brothel. She acknowledged me, but her usual smile and wave was absent. Instead she looked ashamed to be standing there, as if beaten by life. Holding back tears I told her to come talk to me if she would like to work at the Destiny center.

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Ending Slavery with… Manure!?…

08.10.2009 in Uncategorized

The Emancipation Network’s newest program will offer training and employment to survivors of trafficking
operating a biodiesel plant and dairy farm in Boisar, India, at the Rescue Foundation shelter for
survivors of brothel slavery. This facility will enable us to train survivors in renewable energy management,
agriculture, and animal husbandry, and will provide dairy products and fuel for the shelter home. Excess
energy and dairy products will be sold locally to provide sustainable income for the survivors and shelter.

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Flashlight Jewelry Range

14.09.2009 in Uncategorized

It’s Indian Independence Day! And I am celebrating with the Destiny Team. It’s been so wonderful to be back, and the women have many updates for me. One of the women got married and has left work, but everyone else is still here and their quality has greatly improved! So it was an exciting day to start our new jewelry program: Flashlight Jewelry Range.

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Eventful return to India

14.09.2009 in Uncategorized

August 11, 2009 

After three months of rehabilitation in the US, I am finally going back to India. I’ve kept in touch with Smarita, the co-director of Destiny, but I’ve missed the girls who work there so much. I’ve missed their laughter, their hilarious stories, and especially their talent. 

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