Sparrow Society has partnered with A21 to do a sewing skills training program with survivors of human trafficking. The ladies are now equipped and ready to join Sparrow Society’s SewBoss Network which creates opportunities for home-based work for seamstresses across Cape Town. This allows them an opportunity not only to earn a viable income which is essential in gaining independence in the process of restoration but it also an opportunity for these ladies to tap into resources inside themselves they may not have been given the chance to recognize before; to produce something beautiful, something to take pride in. This has such a profound and important impact on the road to restoration, and essential in taking steps to understand their innate value and purpose.

“This program is such an answer to prayer.
I was too scared to send my CV out with my name on. I was too scared someone would find me. This allows me to work and be safe.”

-Human Trafficking Survivor (A21)

image: Sparrow Society’s SewBoss manager trains one of the ladies in sewing skills

Sparrow Society created a special 2 week initial training with the ladies to teach basic sewing skills in a safe, secure location provided by A21 South Africa.  This training got the survivors up to the skill and quality level required to to join the SewBoss program where they will be able to earn a viable income making cosmetic bags for Elizabeth Arden that will be sold at major retailers all around the world!

Joyce Meyer Ministries provided funding to allow us to donate brand new heavy duty sewing machines for the ladies so that they would be able to continue working from a secured location – allowing them to work together in a safe environment while also maintaining access to important emotional and psycho-social support provided by A21.  This partnership really provided an incredible combination to allow these survivors to get back to work in order to support themselves financially (thus significantly reducing their economic vulnerabilities) without risking their safety.

“Economic Instability is one of the most prominent factors that render people vulnerable to human trafficking and the recruitment tactics that lure victims in. Most often victims are promised some kind of job, a better life, security, and then the end result is not that, in fact it is exploitation and abuse. Once someone has come out of their exploitation, that need for economic stability does not go away. In fact it is probably even more profound, or highlighted. This is one of the heartbreaking reasons why the chances of a victim being re-trafficked is so high globally.

Providing survivors with a means to earn, in an environment that can be tailored to their current needs or healing journey is incredibly rare but sorely needed not just in the South African context, but globally. We believe more models like this in South Africa is the answer to a plethora of vulnerability, but in this case specifically beneficial and essential for survivors of human trafficking. “ – Katie, A21 South Africa

Learn more about what A21 is doing to abolish Human Trafficking: