In many ways 2021 was a lot like 2020; restricted movement, online classes, lockdowns, curfews… The variants and vaccinations were the new additions to 2021. I am humbled and my heart swells with gratitude when I think of the commitment and dedication of my colleagues in 2021; travelling across red light areas and private brothels, attempting rescue operations, succeeding, failing, re-strategizing…reaching out to survivors in different ways.

Each one counts

The conviction of a few to right a wrong, one girl at a time, lent to ripples that changed the tide. Few years ago, survivors employed at the freedom business Ruhamah Designs produced a chain with a starfish pendant, the design inspired by the story of the little boy and the starfish. A boy walked on the shore. On seeing so many starfish awash on the shore, he started to throw them back into the sea one at a time. When his father told him it would not make a difference since there were too many starfish stranded on the shore, the little boy replied it would. It would make a difference to the one he just threw back into the sea.

Pictures of survivors celebrating the year that was, teaches us that no matter what we live through, there is a future and that we can together make it better and good for each other.We can be confident of things we do not see but know will come true. We can have faith. 54 victims have tasted freedom, 430 survivors in 10 shelter homes celebrated the end of the year with our staff and volunteers.

We have served more than 1500 girls and young women who survived the worst.

As we step into 2022, we may see traces and trends of 2020 and 2021, however, the past can also help us hope and plan. It helps us look forward to the celebration of freedom, of gratitude and the difference it has made to each survivor and the ones we will serve in the months to come.

We invite you to join us in the journey and the celebrations to come.

Catherine Raja, National Director